Since 2006, Twitter has served as a wildly popular source of news, entertainment, political discourse, and commentary—all limited to posts (“tweets”) of fewer than 280 characters (or 140 prior to the changes made in 2017 doubling the maximum length of tweets).
Its 330 million active monthly users produce an average total of 500 million tweets per day, earning it a spot among the dominant social media platforms of our era. But when it comes time to learn how to delete a Tweet, is there a way to make sure it’s truly gone?
Among the most prolific users of the microblogging service was former President Donald Trump, who favored the site for communicating directly with fans and constituents until his account was suspended following the January 6, 2020 assault on the U.S. Capitol. And Trump isn’t alone in feeling the repercussions of sharing ill-advised content on the site. Three common examples include:
- Actor Alec Baldwin has come under fire for multiple Twitter rants, including one filled with homophobic comments following James Gandolfini’s funeral.
- Singer Rihanna, who was criticized for mocking a fan who imitated her fashion sense
- Former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, who was pressured to resign from his House seat after he accidentally posted a lurid photo of himself to his public Twitter feed instead of sending it to a female fan via private message as he originally intended.
It’s not just celebrities feeling the heat over questionable Twitter content. In recent years, it has become common to hear about students having their college acceptance or scholarships revoked over past posts on Twitter and other social media platforms, and other Twitter users have lost prestigious internships and even jobs due to their bad behavior on the site.
Whether you’re searching for a new job or relationship in the new year or simply desire a clean slate in your online presence, you may want to consider deleting past tweets that no longer reflect your current values or state of mind. Even if the content doesn’t appear to be overtly offensive or you’re no longer active on the platform, it’s still possible for your past tweets to resurface and come back to haunt you.
Keep reading to learn how to delete a tweet permanently and prevent it from getting in the way of your goals for 2022 and beyond.
How to Delete a Tweet Permanently
Common sense would dictate that simply reviewing your Twitter feed and manually deleting each questionable tweet, retweet or “like” would achieve the desired effect of a sanitized account. However, this process can be tedious and time-consuming, especially if you’ve used the site heavily over the course of many years.
If this is the case, a mass deletion service may be worth the price in exchange for the time and effort it can save you. Apps like TweetDelete and TweetEraser allow you to decide which tweets to eliminate based on filters for age, keywords, and even retweets or likes.
However, simply deleting a tweet doesn’t guarantee that it’s gone for good, since “the internet never forgets.” You’ll need to take additional steps to ensure that your tweets are forever erased, including deleting your Twitter Archive and clearing your Google cache.
For your own records, you should request a download of your archive from Twitter by logging into your account, clicking on the More icon in the navigation bar, selecting Your Account and clicking on Download an Archive of Your Data. Follow the directions and you’ll receive a notification when a .zip file of your data is ready for you to access.
The Nuclear Option: Get Rid of Twitter Altogether
Once you’ve downloaded your information, you can delete your Twitter archive using TweetDelete or CircleBoom and either keep your account active or shut it down permanently. If you decide to leave Twitter altogether, log into your account from a web-based browser, click on the More icon, and select Settings and Privacy from the drop-down menu.
Go to the Your Account tab and click Deactivate Your Account. After clicking on Deactivate, enter your password and click the Deactivate Account button. Your account will be deleted after 30 days of inactivity.
Looking for a more comprehensive guide to deleting your Twitter account? Look no further than our full guide on how to delete your Twitter account and many other social media accounts, found here. Let 2022 be the year of the social media cleanse.
The final step you’ll need to take is clearing your browser cache, which will ensure that your old tweets don’t appear in future search results. For the most commonly-used browsers, including Internet Explorer, Edge, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, you can open the window for clearing your cache by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Delete while your browser is active.
Specific instructions for clearing the cache in each browser are available here. Once you have followed the steps for clearing the cache and deleting all cookies, be sure to quit the browser and open a new session to complete the process.
How to Create a Clean Slate Online in 2022
Once you’ve deleted any unwanted tweets from your Twitter account, you may be ready for a comprehensive digital cleanse in the new year, both to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward online and to prevent unauthorized access to your private data.
A data removal service like Removaly can provide that peace of mind by assessing your online vulnerabilities and helping you to opt out of the hundreds of data brokers and other companies that exist purely to harvest your data and leverage it for profit.
As more and more of the activities of daily life move to the digital realm, it pays to protect your private information from marketers, scammers, and cyber criminals seeking to use it for their gain—often in ways that cause you financial or psychological harm. Knowing how to delete a Tweet permanently is one great step to take in ensuring your data privacy knowledge extends into the social media world.
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