Nikki Haley speaking into microphone in front of red background (l) Donald Trump speaking into microphone in front of blue background (c) Matt Gatez speaking into microphone in front of blue background (r)

Consolidated News Photos/Shutterstock Consolidated News Photos/Shutterstock lev radin/Shutterstock (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

Dirty Delete: A look back at the dirtiest deletes

Let’s take a look at the best, worst, and weirdest moments in Dirty Delete history.

 

Claire Goforth

Tech

Dirty Delete is a weekly column that goes deep into the social media history of politicians that runs on Thursdays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.

Analysis

It’s been a year and a half since we launched Dirty Delete, a column dedicated to the dastardly online deeds of powerful political figures.

It has been a long, strange trip, much of it via the Wayback Machine and advanced Twitter search. (Still not calling it X, Elon.)

Alas, the time has come to pass the baton. Next week will be my last column.

So let’s take a look at the best, worst, and weirdest moments in Dirty Delete history.

Spending hundreds of hours immersed in the internet presences of Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Steve Bannon, and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is kind of like taking a bath in dirty water.

They do have a knack for getting attention. Each could teach a master class in attracting eyeballs to their feeds.

Boebert gathered followers with a one-sided feud with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Bannon seems to post whatever flies into his head. He’s like an unkempt Alex Jones, who parlayed the internet into fame and fortune … and a $1 billion judgment against him.

Gaetz, well, he should probably stay away from Venmo (and underage girls).

Before she was in office, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) made her internet name by harassing school shooting survivors. Classy.

Some, like Kari Lake, have either undergone startling transformations or started making revolting comments about Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R-Fla.) big dick energy to court voters.

In the way back of 2015, Lake was “enthralled” with former President Barack Obama and unironically tweeting #BlackLivesMatter. Unearthing that tweet was more surprising than her openly palling around with Ron Watkins.

Many of the conspiracy theorists, election fraud liars, and Capitol rioters I’ve written about in this column had their hopes dashed at the ballot box. Some have been convicted of crimes. One has 91 charges pending.

Others have failed so spectacularly they became the internet’s main character of the day.

The medical doctor who mistook an butthole for a vagina was a fun one. Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R-Ark.) mocking President Joe Biden’s stutter was a despicable one. (She apologized.)

Occasionally I’ve happened upon someone who deleted posts en masse.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley nuked a whole account. Don’t worry, there’s an archive of her posts stanning Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Former Arizona Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem and Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) both wiped their Twitter history. Luna forgot to clear out those likes, though. Oops.

Why it matters

A person’s social media history is a reflection of who they are and what they value—assuming they’re being honest. But even a lie—or a dirty delete—can be revealing.

 
The Daily Dot