When Twitter unceremoniously killed Politiwoops, the Sunlight Foundation-founded site that compiled politicians’ deleted tweets, we lost a valuable tool for political transparency. It sucks, but here’s a silver lining: You can still access the archive of politician saying stupid shit on social media.
The Open State Foundation has made the complete Politiwoops archive available by uploading it to the Internet Archive:
In a move to preserve the public record for everyone, Open State has uploaded its complete Politwoops archive of deleted tweets by politicians to the Internet Archive. The archive consists of 1,106187 deleted tweets by 10,404 politicians collected in 35 countries and parliaments over a period of five years.
Politiwoops had always violated Twitter’s terms of service, but Twitter originally allowed the site to continue its work because of its journalistic value. But at some point in 2015, Twitter had a change of heart, blocking Politiwoops in 30 countries.
At the same time Twitter decided it would no longer support a project seeking to illuminate mistakes politicians attempted to cover up, Twitter has been gearing up to work more closely with Washington. The company finally put big money into hiring tech lobbyists to advocate for stuff like net neutrality and patent reform.
Is Twitter curbing projects that embarrass politicians so it can have a better standing when it argues on the Hill? That’s a cynical take, I know—but Twitter hasn’t provided a more convincing reason for its about-take on Politiwoops.