To cleanse your home (or yourself) of spiritual impurities, one might turn to smudging, the ritual involving burning a bundle of sage to ward off negative energy while promoting harmony and well-being. For those using Twitter, that negative energy and malicious intent might just reside in their timeline and @ replies. Given enough time, even your own satirical tweets might be used as fodder to brand you as a miscreant. You can’t burn Twitter down (yet), but you can do the next best thing: Scrub your Twitter account clean. Here’s how to get rid of all your tweets and start 2018 with a clean 280-character slate.
Image credit: Leon Neal/Getty
First, Archive Your Tweets
Before you go around expunging the record of your former life expressed in 140 characters, you’ll need to grab an archive of your tweets. Not only does that let you have a record of your hilarious missives, you can use that archive to head even deeper into your back catalogue, deleting more than the 3200 most recent tweets that Twitter allows you to access via its API. That’s good news for users hundreds of thousands of tweets in.
Here’s how to download an archive of your tweets:
- On your computer, visit your Twitter Settings page.
- Scroll down and select “Request Your Archive”.
- When archiving is complete (it may take a while), click the “Download Now” link sent to the email address associated with your Twitter account.
- Download the .zip file to your computer.
Employ a Free Web Service
Now that you have your Twitter history preserved for posterity, you’ll be able to use that archive to further destroy your publicly available tweet history.
You probably don’t want to open any command lines to write your own tweet-deleting scripts, deal with OAuth access tokens to prove you’re actually your Twitter account, or read any GitHub documentation to understand how Twitter’s API functions. Lucky for you, you won’t have to. Free services, such as Cardigan or Twoolbox, can comb through your most recent 3200 tweets and delete them either selectively or all at once. Uploading your archived tweets to Cardigan will let you go through your own timeline, and allow you to search for tweets based on their content (letting you expunge your timeline of any mention of certain individuals) or timing. You can also sort them by date (or date ranges), and delete them accordingly. You can also use Cardigan to “unlike” tweets either selectively or all at once.
If It Means That Much, Just Pay
Should free options such as Cardigan shut down or disappear, you can always shell out a few bucks to employ a tweet deleting service. The straightforwardly named Tweet Deleter, seemingly targeted at those looking for more granular control over what does and doesn’t get tossed in the trash, charges a monthly fee for the ability to delete more than five tweets per day, and charges even more to delete any tweets older than your last 3200 posts using your archive. Unless you’re doing some heavy tweeting, or have a side hustle as a social media manager, though, this kind of service likely isn’t necessary, when shelling out a few bucks for a single-use service will do the trick.
To that end, Tweet Eraser charges a much more understandable one-time fee of $US6.99 ($9) or $US9.99 ($13) for 30 days of use, with its more expensive option granting you the ability to store your deleted tweets on Tweet Eraser (just in case you’d like an easier way to browse them without going through your compressed archive), and create saved search filters (in case you have a habit of insulting your boss, Chad, in the middle of the night) you can use to regularly scrub your account. That’s more than enough time to get your timeline in order for the new year, and get rid of any potentially damning jokes you have in your timeline before evildoers turn them against you.