Politwoops preserved: 1 million deleted tweets from 10,000 politicians now in the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive will preserve more than 1 million tweets deleted by elected officials and politicians as part of Politwoops, the Open State Foundation announced in a blog post.

Politwoops archived politicians’ deleted tweets through its access as a developer to Twitter’s application programming interface.

But after operating in the U.S. for three years (by the Sunlight Foundation), Politwoops was blocked by Twitter in May. Then, in August, Twitter blocked Politwoops in more than 30 countries.

Twitter argued that there was an expectation of privacy on its service, which should be extended to politicians and regular people alike.

Human rights groups have called for Twitter to change its position.

Now, access to the 1 million archived tweets from more than 10,000 politicians can be found here.

A 2013 tweet from GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump disappeared this month (although Trump’s automatic self-retweet is still there). It was surfaced by Forbes’ Yael Grauer:

Despite findings like the Trump tweet, Nathaniel Mott of GigaOm points out that archived tweets only go so far in terms of a public service:

It seems like Politwoops was at its most useful when it was surfacing up-to-the-minute evidence of a politician’s mistakes.

Photo: The Twitter icon. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group).


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