Political Twitter tracking site Politwoops announces its relaunch

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Story highlights

  • Politwoops, which captures political figures' deleted tweets, is relaunching in time for the New Hampshire primary
  • Twitter cut off the site's access to its API in 2015, but resumed cooperation months later

(CNN)The watchdogs at the Sunlight Foundation announced Tuesday they would be relaunching U.S. Politwoops, the popular site dedicated to tracking the Twitter mishaps of elected officials, candidates and other political groups and personalities.

"Just in time for the New Hampshire primary, we'll be back to tracking and posting deleted tweets from political figures so that the public can hold them accountable for the statements they make on Twitter," the Sunlight Foundation said in an online statement.
The popular web sleuthing tool was effectively shut down sometime in May 2015 when Twitter blocked the site's access to its API, a limited back-door entry point. A favorite of political observers since its inception in 2012, Politwoops gained national notoriety for capturing deleted tweets, after the Supreme Court's Obamacare ruling and in the aftermath of the prisoner swap that brought home Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
"What our elected officials say is a matter of public record, and Twitter is an increasingly important part of how our elected officials communicate with the public," the Sunlight Foundation said in early June. "Unfortunately, Twitter's decision to pull the plug on Politwoops is a reminder of how the Internet isn't truly a public square."
In a statement to Gawker, Twitter said "honoring the expectation of user privacy for all accounts is a priority for us, whether the user is anonymous or a member of Congress."
But after months of near quiet, the two sides announced a detente on Dec. 31, when Politwoops revealed it had "reached an agreement with Twitter" that would eventually return access and revive the site.