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New service lets you track tweets politicians tried to delete

Zach Epstein
May 31st, 2012 at 12:05 PM

A number of politicians have found themselves in hot water over the years following inappropriate or even vulgar messages posted to Twitter. Now, thanks to a new service called Poliwoops, politicians in the U.S. will find it even more difficult to hide from their tweets. Created by the Sunlight Foundation, Politweets follows a number of government officials and exposes any tweet they post and then delete, whether it is deleted immediately or even days after being posted.

“Sure, we all tweet things we don’t mean to share, but now politicians have no way to hide them,” Poliwoops’s website proclaims. “Discover tweets that your politicians shared and then promptly deleted.” Poliwoops users can reply to deleted tweets through the service’s website, or even retweet them despite their deleted status.

Unfortunately for the creators of Poliwoops and fans of the service, it likely won’t remain operational for very long. From Twitter’s API terms and conditions (emphasis ours): “For example, your Service should execute the unfavorite and delete actions by removing all relevant messaging and Twitter Content, not by publicly displaying to other end users that the Tweet was unfavorited or deleted.”

Building a service with the sole purpose of drawing attention to the fact that a tweet has been deleted and then displaying its content is a direct violation of Twitter’s terms.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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