Raising kids in the age of social media, we try to impress upon them never to post something on the internet they don’t want there for forever. Because thanks to archives and screencaps, there is no such thing as a deleted post or an easy internet undo.
The deleted tweet has become the source of scandal so often that there are entire Twitter accounts devoted to them. But Twitter the company (as opposed to the community) is cracking down, allowing politicians to unring that potentially embarrassing bell.
The Guardian reports Twitter has shut down 31 political watchdog accounts (including Poltiwoops) that posted the deleted tweets of politicians. According to Twitter, these accounts’ access has been blocked because �Deleting a tweet is an expression of the user�s voice.�
In a statement Twitter asked, �Imagine how nerve-racking � terrifying, even � tweeting would be if it was immutable and irrevocable?” To which we respond:
But don’t laugh too hard at Twitter’s confusion (or blatant lies) about how the internet works. Because this is actually a truly troubling development that allows politicians to more easily manipulate their personas and public statements.
Jules Mattson who runs the recently banned @DeletedbyMPs account explains:
“Politwoops has been an important new tool in political accountability in the UK and abroad. Politicians are all too happy to use social media to campaign but if we lose the ability for this to be properly preserved, it becomes a one way tool…This issue is a world away from any legitimate arguments over privacy in the internet age � MPs� public statements as politicians are an entirely different matter.Tracking and archiving deleted tweets from MPs is absolutely in the public interest and hopefully Twitter will reconsider with that in mind.�
Also curious is that Twitter claims it made this decision because “No one user is more deserving of that ability (to delete a tweet) than another.” Does that mean Twitter will start banning users who share non-politicos deleted tweets too? If so, Josh Trank’s alone could cause a forced mass exodus.
Kristy Puchko is filled with shame over her typo-flecked deleted tweets.