There is now a site that captures and publishes deleted politician’s tweets. Has anyone told Trevor Mallard the bad news yet?
Today, the transparency-minded folks over at the Sunlight Foundation are releasing a new service: Politwoops, which exists solely to resurface deleted tweets from politicians’ accounts. The project follows the official Twitter feeds of, among others, President Obama, members of Congress, and presidential candidates; when a pol has a deleted a tweet, Politwoops records the deletion and archives the message. It also records, helpfully, the time of deletion and the amount of time elapsed between posting and deletion. Think Tweleted, only politics-focused and operational.
The Politwoops team has been compiling a database of deleted tweets for six months now — so, though today marks the service’s official launch, Politwoops has already recorded over 3,000 deleted tweets for your schadenfreudistic enjoyment. These include: Senator John McCain mocking the tears of Vladimir Putin after the latter’s re-election; Newt Gingrich’s campaign account tweeting, Dole-like, in the third person; and Representative Jeff Miller tweeting a link to a Facebook poll asking, “Was Obama born in the United States?”
The deleted tweets vary from the embarrassing-and-humanizing to the horrifically awkward … but, either way, they add another layer of accountability to the churning machine of political communications. While we probably did not need another reminder that politicians make mistakes, there’s a certain power in seeing the deleted tweets collected into this odd archive of political anti-matter.