Politwoops U.S. Turns One!


The Sunlight Foundation's Politwoops project turns one year old.The Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops U.S. adaptation of the original Politwoops.nl turns one-year-old today and it has certainly made an impression. In the past year, Politwoops surfaced more than 6,200 deleted tweets and drew nearly 300,000 visits. TIME Magazine even named Politwoops one of the best websites of 2012. Some of the best examples of Politwoops’ impact are how journalists routinely utilize it, politicians play with it and how Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., declared there is no better way to get media attention than to delete a tweet.

Since inception we’ve entered 1,174 different Twitter handles, adding new campaign accounts and challengers during the election season and ceasing our tracking once someone leaves office or drops out. Just yesterday we added a new category for gubernatorial challengers, currently populated by challengers in New Jersey and Virginia for the fall 2013 elections. As always, if you find any candidates or politicians with Twitter accounts that we don’t follow yet, just email us and we’ll add them.

Here are few of the things you missed if you weren’t following Politwoops in just the past month. Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., continues her social media strategy of having Facebook posts automatically tweet and then she or her staff deletes them before redoing the message for the shorter medium. This perplexing strategy is especially confounding when I saw her delete a tweet sharing that she spent 2.7 hours on Twitter one day and left a never-deleted tweet from the same day saying she spent only 3 minutes on Twitter.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., shared some pictures from his trip to Yemen and described the country as “another nation under siege by Al-Qaeda and #Iran.” After three minutes he or his staff thought better of that description and subtly changed the messaging to “another nation under threat from Al-Qaeda and #Iran.” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., inexplicably revoked her congratulations to an intern and Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., encouraged this guy in Arizona to “Keep up the pressure, it makes a difference” or at least he did for 11 hours until he deleted it.

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., decided it was notGreat to run in to @allenwest” and Gov. Gary R. Herbert, R-Utah, deleted a quote from Harry Potter. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., had some deeply cryptic thoughts to share and then delete with @edatpost and @cpu and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, seemed to regret mentioning that he met Arsenio Hall in a restroom. Find out what messaging changes occur in the next month (and year!) by keeping tabs on Politwoops.SunlightFoundation.com.