You’ve heard the phrase anything you post online lives forever and will be tired to you for eternity – the same applies to your old awkward tweets you posted when you first joined Twitter. With the ease to access the internet and the tweet button always at our fingertips, we tend to forget that in the multitude of photos, long and short reads, listicles and memes, we are busy shouting 140 or 280 characters into the void and that void never forgets. Everything we post can and will be found in the near future and those tweets could damage your career or your relationship. Your secrets can be dug from the dark corners of the web including Twitter.
I decided to go down the rabbit hole that is my timeline to revel at my old and awkward tweets and perhaps delete some of them. Here’s how you can do the same:
How to search for those old tweets:
It’s more detailed on desktop. Just head over to Twitter’s advanced search where you can search for keywords, exact phrases or hashtags. You can search from your username or from others including putting date and location parameters.
It’s similar for mobile too – in the search box, you just type: from:your username since:yyyy-mm-dd until:yyyy-mm-dd. My growth on Twitter was and is still full of cringey tweets.
Manually delete tweets with specific keywords
If your old tweets contain problematic phrases your present self would want to be associated with, you can manually delete them. Request your full Twitter archive if a simple search isn’t adequate enough. Go to the Settings of your account and scroll to the bottom of the page. The archive file will be sent to you by email and will include your very first tweet. After getting a copy, you can erase all your tweets.
How to start deleting if you don’t have infinite time
TweetDelete lets you erase almost 3,200 tweets at a time. It’s a free service that even lets you choose the length of your recent Twitter archive to delete anything older than one year or your whole history. You sign in with your Twitter account, give it permission and it gets to work. For those with more tweets than the service’s limit, you’ll have to do this multiple times. You also get to set it up to continue deleting on a rolling basis. To stop, you just deny the app’s access to your account. The service also has a green button that tells it to stop deleting your tweets.
Other services you can use include TwitWipe – free but full of ads and hard to use or just pay up for either TweetDeleter or TweetEraser. TweetDeleter has an $8.99 option to delete your entire history. TweetEraser is a feature-limited but cheaper at $6.99 monthly. You’ll just be fine with TweetDelete. Another interesting service is WillMyTweetsGetMeFired. For $2.99, it will scan your tweets and flag problematic ones.
In terms of mobile apps, iOS users can download the $3 Tweeticide app from the app store and will delete the last 3,200 tweets in your timeline. For Android users, there’s Xpire that lets you search and delete selected or whole tweets. The app which is free on the Google Play Store also lets you send “self-destructing” tweets too.
Just so you know, deleting the tweets or going private doesn’t make you safe yet, your followers might have taken screenshots of those tweets or they could’ve been embedded in an article. If this is too much, just delete your Twitter account.