Politicians Can't Escape Their Deleted Tweets

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Screenshot of several deleted tweets on Politwoops

If a politician's tweet gets deleted before eager followers manage to take a screenshot, don't worry. That tweet won't disappear entirely.

ProPublica recently revived the Politwoops website, which was started by the Sunlight Foundation, a government accountability group, in 2012. It automatically logs any tweets deleted by elected officials and places them in an easily searchable database. 

Derek Willis, a news application developer at ProPublica, says the majority of deleted tweets aren't always juicy -- they often contain simple typos, and are immediately followed up by tweets with proper spelling. But any tweet by an elected official is effectively a statement by a public official, and he says that as President Trump continues to tweet, there's a good chance that other politicians could catch a case of the twitter fingers and send out something notable.

Willis spoke with WNYC's Richard Hake about how Politwoops works, and what role he expects it to play in these next four years.