Deleting old tweets

I have been using twitter for 8 years now, and since then I had more than 70,000 tweets. Yesterday I finally managed to delete most of them.

The reason for my decision comes from the fact I am trying to declutter my life, and control my online presence. My twitter account was full of stupid things a typical university student posts, before realizing the danger of what one says when their opinion changes, or like Trump, they become the president of the united states.

It wasn’t easy to delete all of them though. It turned out that twitter limits the number of publicly available tweets to 3200. The rest of your tweets are buried and can only be shown if you use the twitter search functionality. While one might feel safe something can only be found if the exact text in a tweet was searched for, I still wanted to delete them.

After some search, I found an open source tool that lets you delete all your tweets. The way it works is you download it on your machine, and download your twitter archive. The tool then parses the twitter archive, gets the link for each individual tweet, and deletes it. It took almost half an hour to delete 72,000 tweets.

There are still a few undeleted tweets due to glitches in twitter. One particular retweet is stuck on my timeline and every time I un-retweet it, it is still retweeted. I will wait a few days to be able to re-download my twitter archive, and do a second round of deletion on the remaining 700 tweets.

Only the paranoid survives.

  • amrsamir

    I’m sure someone somewhere is archiving everyone’s tweets and Facebook posts, so it can be “used” someday. Not sure how much deleting would protect from that.