All-Nude Tweets (Hacking Extraneous Content from Twitter Embeds) – Updated

The Twitter default is for “cards” and “conversation” to display, but you can get rid of them either tweet by tweet or through a copy-paste-search-and-replace-re-copy-paste.

(I’ve developed an approach for achieving the desired effect via function, but this post is still good background!)

Intro

When you embed a tweet from its URL – for example, for this tweet from Justin Tiehen’s list of explanations for the rise of Donald Trump

https://twitter.com/jttiehen/status/735315944428310528

…it will, by the magic of oEmbed, produce the following display in your WordPress page1:

Tweet with conversation and card

Tweet with “Conversation” and “Card”

Now, a lot of the time, this is totally superduper: You’re happy to include the replied-to tweet, and the part down below, with the image of Mr. Trump there linking to the original article (in a real tweet embed, not the screenshot version of it I’ve used above), is very nifty and even useful, and the nifty formatting is also nifty: Altogether just what your nifty users want.

In some contexts, however, all of the extra stuff is just distracting – especially if you’re showing a long list of tweets or rendering a conversation.2

What follows is a hacky way to grab naked tweets instead.

Grabbing Naked Tweets

The top part of the tweet imaged above (showing a compressed “replied-to” tweet that mentions “pornography”) is “conversation.” The bottom part is “the card.”

If you’re using the oEmbed method, you can bring up the the page source and find something like the below buried in all of the code. (If you’re using Twitter’s more laborious but flexible “Embed” sub-menu, you’ll get something similar.)

The last line is a call to the Twitter Javascript file that adds all the nifty formatting. It needs to be invoked only once per page, but, in a list of 100 tweets embedded by hand, it will be listed 100 times, in 100 paragraphs that will be “un-displayed.”

Twitter also supplies users you with a relatively cumbersome way of getting rid of cards and conversation: When, instead of oEembedding from the URL (i.e., using built-in WordPress oEmbed functionality), you use the Twitter-supplied “embed” code, and you un-check the “include parent conversation” checkbox, you can get rid of the replied-to tweet. The code will look like this:

Producing a display like this:

Tweet with Card, but no Conversation

Tweet with Card, but no Conversation

The only difference between the two Twitter-supplied versions is visible in the first line: the data-conversation="none" added to the blockquote .

So, it turns out, the simple hacky way to produce a set of fancy tweets 1) without “conversation,” 2) without redundant calls to the twitter platform (slows things down a lot on a long list), and 3) in a “hard copy” form that is savable even if the user deletes the tweet or Twitter does, is

  1. Copy-paste the tweets as rendered from page source into a text editor.
  2. Use a search-and-replace to add data-conversation="none" to every blockquote (as in the example above).
  3. Search and replace (with nothing) all but one of the <p><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p>
  4. Copy-paste the “cured” text into your HTML panel in place of what you currently have there (i.e., bunch of Twitter URLs or Embeds).

To make the Twitter Card also disappear, you include data-cards="hidden" . So…

…should display like this:

Tweet with "Conversation" and "Card" suppressed

Tweet with “Conversation” and “Card” suppressed

Summary: The Twitter default is for cards and conversation to display, but you can turn them off either tweet by tweet or through a copy-paste-search-and-replace-re-copy-paste.3

Someday…

…I’ll look further into automating this “curing” process… If somebody has done it already – let me know!

Notes:

  1. …as of this writing – Twitter may change its mind without memo-ing me personally []
  2. Multiple redundant “asynchronous” Javascript calls seem also to slow down page rendering – something to be tested at some point. []
  3. Note: You can delete the data-width=”550″ or you can adjust it to a lower value than 550. Higher values will have no effect, or, if mistyped, will break the formatting script. The Twitter embed size CAN be overriden, but you need to work from another direction. []

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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 

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    1. […] few months ago, I noted a technique for stripping Twitter embeds of extraneous conversation, involving setting the tweet attribute “data-conversation” to “none.” What […]

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