Emily Baines
January 03, 2016 1:56 pm

With the continuing pervasiveness of social media, it’s never been easier for a politician to make a very public– and costly– mistake. As we millennials well know (and our parents and grandparents’ generations are quickly learning), just because you delete a tweet doesn’t mean it’s gone. And now, it’s even easier for us to track down those deleted tweets, thanks to the return of Politwoops.

Run by the Washington, DC-based nonprofit Sunlight Foundation, Politwoops uses Twitter’s API to build an archive of tweets posted and then deleted by U.S. politicians. The service was originally launched in 2012 and was part of Politwoops’ attempt to promote political transparency. Sunlight Foundation president Christopher Gates wrote that he hoped Politiwoops would give “a more intimate perspective on our politicians and how they communicate with their constituents.”

The service was then shut down.

To justify this decision, Twitter released a statement saying, “Honoring the expectation of user privacy for all accounts is a priority for us, whether the user is anonymous or a member of Congress.”

However, on December 31st, Twitter announced that it had  reached an agreement with Politwoops that allowed Politwoops to relaunch. Happy New Year to all the newshounds out there!

A message from Twitter that same day suggests new and permanent Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is responsible for the decision. The message includes an excerpt from a speech given by Dorsey at an event in October where he said his company has “a responsibility to continue to empower organizations that bring more transparency to public dialogue, such as Politwoops.”

Dorsey continued, “We need to make sure we are serving all these organizations and developers in the best way, because that is what will make Twitter great. We need to listen, we need to learn, and we need to have this conversation with you. We want to start that today.”

While there’s no confirmed date for Politwoops’ return, with the presidential election fast approaching, we can only hope the service is up and running ASAP! And politicians’ aides– brush up on your Twitter etiquette!

(Image via Politwoops)

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