One of the best ways of trying to keep an honest and smart government is having active and informed citizens who make a point of keeping their elected officials honest and accountable. Since the Information Age began, especially with the development and advancement of the internet and social media, it has become harder for politicians to shield the eyes of the electorate from things as mundane as deleted politician tweets.
Social media has also made it easier for our beloved politicians to completely and publicly embarrass themselves on a regular basis. Giving disconnected politicians an open forum to directly communicate with their electorate opens the door for unlimited enlightenment and hilarity. Hiding deleted tweets and Facebook posts that could compromise a politicians credibility has quickly become a pastime in Washington D.C.
Shedding Sunlight on Shady Politicians
The job of “fact checking” our politicians has been undertaken by many groups throughout the country, and the internet has helped make that possible. These groups are relied upon heavily by citizens when politicians are debating big issues and not making much sense when trying to explain themselves.
One such group is the Sunlight Foundation whose primary goal is “making government accountable and transparent.” The nonpartisan, non-profit uses the power of the Internet to impel government transparency by providing tools, services, and resources for media and citizens, alike.
Deleted Politician Tweets Once Lost, but Now Found
One website the Sunlight Foundation has created in reaching that goal is called Politwoops. It keeps track of all of all the deleted politician tweets that come from an elected official that works in Washington D.C.
The site is very simple to use; you can search for a politician by state, party, and job position and find any deleted tweets that they have ever posted and tried to get rid of. Often times, the deleted politician tweets are harmless exposures of our politicians inability to use a keyboard properly. However, there are the rare occasions a fairly scandalous deleted tweet is dug up that the guilty politician really wishes was never posted.
You Can Delete, But You Can’t Hide
Most famous perhaps is one of Florida Representative Jeff Miller’s deleted tweet openly questioning President Obama’s citizenship. Politwoops helped to expose this twit’s deleted tweet even though it was only up for 55 minutes before it entered the archive of Politwoops’ deleted politician tweets. The incident certainly caused Mr. Miller a media headache that he wishes he had not created.
With social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, and bonehead technologically impaired politicians, Politwoops serves an important function in holding our elected officials liable for the things they do, say, or the deleted politician tweets they try to hide. It also allows us as citizens of the United States of America to openly mock and ridicule our politicians when they do something really stupid, and that is what makes democracy work.