Social Advocacy & Politics: Twoops! I Hate When Twitter Exposes My Hypocrisy

Alan Rosenblatt Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy, turner4D

Posted on June 10th 2014

Social Advocacy & Politics: Twoops! I Hate When Twitter Exposes My Hypocrisy

social media politics twitter campaign and activismInstead of celebrating the release of an American P.O.W. from Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s father is getting death threats. Instead of celebrating this soldier’s return home, as we have celebrated all others who have been returned (like John McCain), the Republicans in Congress have led the charge to vilify Sgt. Bergdahl and his family. They have even gone so far as to pressure fellow GOP lawmakers to delete their initial tweets about the joy they felt at Bowe’s return.

Really. They did that. They put politics over humanity.

I’m kinda disgusted by it.

Sure, there are questions yet to be resolved about Bergdahl’s disappearance, which led to his capture. But what American would prefer he meet justice at the hands of the Taliban instead of facing U.S. military justice? Certainly no patriot would prefer that. And certainly no opponent of Sharia Law would, either. Yet that is exactly what we are seeing from the Republican party, especially GOP Members of Congress (and at least one frightened Democrat).

According to Politwoops, the website created by Sunlight Foundation to captured deleted tweets by federal lawmakers,  3 Republican Representatives, 1 GOP Senator and 1 GOP Governor deleted celebratory tweets upon Bergdahl’s freeing. Even one Democratic Representative reneged, drawing the ire of his sconstituents. In a move that clearly places politics above being a decent human being, these elected officials withdrew their sincere and human sentiments because of the party line.

But, thankfully, the Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops website shines a bright light on lawmakers who think they can get away with rewriting history. Politwoops automatically archives all tweets deleted by Members of Congress. Typically, Members and their staff delete tweets because they are incorrect or have typos.

Occasionally, they delete tweets that call on people to vote for them in the upcoming election or to give money to their campaigns (those tweets are illegal on Members’ official Twitter accounts). The occurrence of such electioneering tweets over official Member channels suggests that for some Representatives and Senators, the same person is managing their official and their campaign Twitter accounts. That gives rise to questions about how real the firewall is between the two organizations.

But I digress.

In the Bergdahl case, Politwoops captures the hypocrisy of five legislators and one governor. Their initial celebration of an American soldier being brought home from our enemy’s prison camp was the right sentiment. No matter what other issues follow from the way he was brought home, the fact that an American P.O.W., a human being, has been released is a cause to celebrate; period. Regardless of any other criticisms of the man, the President or the process by which this man was freed, the human thing to do, the compassionate thing to do is to rejoice.

But apparently, anti-Obama forces in Congress are not human, not compassionate. They care more for politics than for decency. They created an environment of hate that is directly responsible for the death threats against Bowe Bergdahls father.

Thank you, Politwoops, for showing us just how heartless and low some Members of Congress can go.


Alan Rosenblatt

Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy, turner4D

Alan Rosenblatt, Ph.D. is a social media and online advocacy strategist, professor & thought leader. He is Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy at turner 4D (formerly Turner Strategies), the co-founder and host of the Internet Advocacy Roundtable; and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins, American, (Georgetown and Gonzaga Universities), where he teaches courses on internet politics. He was Associate Director for Online Advocacy at the Center for American Progress/CAP Action Fund from 2007-2013, where he created and directed the Center’s social media program, as well as Ombudsmen and co-founder at Take Action News. Alan taught the world’s first internet politics course ever at George Mason University in 1995. He founded the Internet Advocacy Roundtable in 2005; blogs at,, and occasionally/previously at,,; serves on’s board of directors and Social Media Today’s Advisory Board; In 2008, he was a fellow at George Washington University’s Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet; and is a co-founder of  Alan has a Ph.D. in Political Science from American University, an M.A. in Political Science from Boston College and a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from Tufts University. Find him on Twitter and across social media at @DrDigiPol.

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Posted on June 10th 2014 at 9:56AM

Twitter can be brutal!