Twitter doesn’t make it very easy to go back and bulk delete tweets that you feel might not represent you in the best light. If you’ve had your account for very long, it’s likely you don’t still hold all of the same opinions as you did when you originally shared them. Or you’ve posted some photos you no longer want swimming around out there. That’s okay! We are supposed to change and grow.
For whatever reason you might want to delete some of your tweets, rather than scroll for hours deleting posts individually, there are services available to help. You can choose from a few free options, as well as some premium services that allow more in-depth customization for your Twitter cleanse. I didn’t need anything too advanced, but I had more to delete than the measly five Tweet Deleter allows you to delete a month for free.
Which brought me to Semiphemeral. First of all, they pride themselves on being antifascists, so I was automatically intrigued. And it’s completely free. No trial, no limited features. It’s actually just free. They do accept donations, so tossing them a few bucks for the convenience would probably go a long way towards your internet karma if or just knowing you’re doing some good for folks trying to do some good for other folks.
Delete, delete, delete
There are quite a few options in the settings, where you can choose to delete tweets older than a selected amount of days, and even choose to save your tweets that got more than so many likes and/or retweets, which is cool. That means you can choose to save the most popular posts that you are proud of while cleaning up the ones that didn’t quite land.
You can even choose to delete old likes, retweets, or DMs, though the DMs option says it cannot delete anything older than 30 days, and you have to give them permission to access them. I didn’t choose to utilize this service, so I cannot speak to its effectiveness.
I chose to delete all of my tweets and retweets older than 100 days. A nice fresh Twitter start, ammirite?
It was a super simple process. I followed Semiphemeral on Twitter and chose to start my Twitter data download from their site. It took less than an hour and I was ready to start deleting whatever I wanted. At first, I was going to go through and save some that got some positive attention, but I opted to just let everything older than 100 days go and be done with it. Plus, I was genuinely curious since I’ve had my account for several years and post fairly regularly so there were a lot of tweets.
Semiphmeral placed me in the queue and my deletion was scheduled for the next day around noon. At this time, I still have the option to cancel or pause Semiphemeral, in case I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to some of my Twitter past. So maybe it’s good there is a little bit of a waiting period, in case you choose to delete out of an emotional burst that might just pass, and then you’d be bummed you deleted your stuff.
In my case I was ready. This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision, I’ve made a shift in my content and work, and I would like my social media to reflect that. To represent me I am trying to be, ya know? We all deserve that with no shame and no fuss.
I’m not sure what it says about me that I was excited to see what happened the next day. Maybe I need more hobbies or something, but here we are. I was watching the clock close to noon, my scheduled deletion time slot, anxious to start scrolling my profile to see what I noticed.
I started by going to the Semiphemeral site, and I saw I had an update that they had deleted 1215 tweets. That didn’t really seem like a lot, since it was years of tweets, but what do I know? My next stop was my Twitter profile. I scrolled and scrolled and eventually got down to August and that was it! It was all gone before that. A sparkling clean slate.
There is an option to pause your service, which is what I chose because the way I understand it if you keep it running, and have the “delete tweets older than (pick a number) of days” box checked it will keep deleting accordingly. Which is pretty damn rad, really. If you want to keep your account small and manageable, this could be the way.
If you are feeling unsafe, are applying for jobs that you feel might take exception to some of your social media activity, or just need a fresh(ish) start, Semiphemeral makes cleaning up your timeline a fairly painless experience. I think we all deserve that.
(Disclaimer: the internet is forever, and so is what you post to it. Just because you delete tweets, doesn’t mean they aren’t still out there somewhere. This service just erases them from your Twitter timeline, and doesn’t account for screenshots, internet archives, etc.)
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