Diplotwoops: What deleted diplomatic tweets say about the Ukraine

  • 21st February 2014
Diplotwoops: What deleted diplomatic tweets say about the Ukraine

Recent diplomatic activity around the crisis in the Ukraine is not only headline news but deleted tweets of diplomats and embassies show another side of the events. Diplotwoops.org, launched today by Open State, screens deleted messages by diplomats and embassies around the world. Diplotwoops.org is a database of diplomats’ tweets, lost and found.

diplotwoopsOn Thursday, the Russian Embassy in Estonia deleted a tweet in which it accuses the Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves (@IlvesToomas) of aggravating the crisis in Ukraine and of spreading lying tweets.

Earlier the UK delegation at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the UK embassy in Germany removed a retweet of British Foreign Secretary William Hague in which he tweeted: ‘Violence against peaceful protestors is unacceptable and the Ukrainian gov should be held accountable’. Instead, it tweeted the official statement by the OSCE.

A deleted tweet by the Russian embassy in Finland shows that the Russian Foreign Ministry removed a tweet with apparently a quote by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying: ‘The events in Ukraine are arousing deep concern. We have repeatedly warned against such a course of events’.

Two weeks ago, Geoffrey Pyatt, the current United States Ambassador to Ukraine deleted retweet of Julian Pecquet, foreign affairs reporter and blogger for The Hill, stating that the White House ‘blames Russia for leaking “Fuck the EU” Ukraine call’.

Diplomats may think their deleted Twitter messages are gone for good. Not at Diplotwoops.org, where a horde of ill-considered missives live to see another day. Diplotwoops.org is an off-spring of Politwoops that was launched by Open State Foundation in 2010 as a way of following members of parliament and local representatives, there are now 26 other international versions of Politwoops. In 2012 Sunlight Foundation launched the U.S. version of Politwoops.

Other recent diplotwoops

Eitvydas Bajarunas, the Lithuanian Ambassador to Sweden, was bothered by Soviet symbols at the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The European delegation in India believes in further European integration but removed a tweet asking how many medals the EU could win if it took part in the Olympics as one team. Also in India, the Russian Embassy deleted a tweet saying that the Russians enjoy the longest paid vacations and the largest number of holidays in the world. The Greek embassy in London removed a message with a link to an article in The Guardian asking for the return of the Elgin marbles from the Parthenon, currently in the British Museum. And the Rwandese embassy in The Hague deleted a retweet of a Dutch parliamentarian referring to a meeting with a parliamentary delegation from Rwanda mentioning the term genocide.


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