For as long as there have been politicians, there have been politicians trying desperately to cover up their mistakes—and in the Twitter age, censorship can happen as rapidly as a gaffe. Not anymore—a new site saves deletions forever.
Politwoops, a project by The Sunlight Foundation, a pro-transparency group, is all about preserving fuckups. Errors, embarrassments, misclicks—the stuff that, for whatever reason, a politician doesn't want you to read on Twitter. The site scrapes the accounts of every pol with a Twitter account (and everyone currently or formerly running for the presidency) and updates whenever they try to hide something.
Although most of the expurgated tweets are minor, some of them are certainly not: say, Chuck Grassley's stunning period of lucidity while hacked, or moronic Congressman Jeff Miller questioning Obama's citizenship. Politwoops will also tell you how long the tweet survived before being caught—a pretty impressive display of just how tightly these people monitor their "presences" online. You might think of Twitter as the window into the soul of your senator, if he has one, but for the most part it's as choreographed as any photo op or ribbon cutting. Maybe they'll start to take it more seriously—and more personally—now that there's a way for the whole world to watch every twitch and calculation.