The Week on Politwoops: Politicians try out Meerkat

The Meerkat logo invades the Capitol building.

In this week’s review of deleted Twitter activity archived on Politwoops, we’ll look at how politicians are quickly adopting the latest hyped app in the tech world, Meerkat.

Meerkat is a streaming video service that uses Twitter to notify your followers when you start broadcasting. Like many apps, the fastest way to learn how it works is to dive right in and try using it. Since you can only start your live feed once you’ve shared your broadcast, many initial encounters with the app result in a fumbling test video.

Politicians eager to try new technology and connect with younger constituents (or, more likely, voters) are adopting Meerkat this week. Unsurprisingly, as the politicians fiddled with the app, they also deleted tweets — adding to the Politwoops archive. Like all new avenues to quickly share a message, Meerkat represents the latest opportunity and liability for politicians who carefully manicure their public statements to minimize controversy and distraction.

The official Twitter account of Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., earned the title of the first Meerkat deletion in Politwoops with the default share language for a broadcast, “|LIVE NOW| #meerkat” Another broadcast appeared on his Twitter feed with a full description saying, “Trying out #meerkat for the first time. Talking #FCC Internet Regs with @jonward11 LIVE at 12:30 PM ET:” Politwoops also archived deletions about Meerkat from Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., who appears to be one of the first members of Congress to use it on March 12.

The official Twitter account for Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., shared a couple test tweets using Meerkat and then deleted them a day later. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s campaign Twitter account used Meerkat a number of times when he attended the South by Southwest conference, and even shared a Youtube clip of his Meerkat broadcasts. Just this morning, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest had his first interview on Meerkat.

While the future of Meerkat is uncertain since they are tussling with Twitter, who purchased a rival streaming video service earlier this month, you can be sure that Politwoops will be here to archive any deleted tweets sharing broadcasts from politicians.

As always, I hope you have a good weekend, and send me an email if you come across any accounts that Politwoops is missing!