Delete Twitter

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Welcome to hell, Elon. You break it, you buy it

Nilay Patel

The simple truth is that building something valuable — whether that’s knowledge, experience or a network worth participating in — is really, really hard.

But tearing it all down is piss easy.

Natasha Lomas

Explaining to my grandma that this is like if the guy who owned Peugeot came into everyone’s house and ripped their phones out of the wall

Rob Delaney

So long, and thanks for all the fail whales

Allison Johnson

The acid test for any two competing socioeconomic systems is which side needs to build a wall to keep people from escaping? That's the bad one!

Elon Musk

If Elon Musk wants Twitter to be 4chan, there’s probably nothing we can do to stop that, but we can help to make sure it has exactly the same level of appeal for advertisers that 4chan has

Travis Brown

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  • How to delete a Twitter account

    Twitter has an official deactivation guide.

    In short, account deactivation leads to permanent deletion after 30 days.
    • Download an archive of your data before you deactivate.
    • Delete the Twitter app from your devices.

    Here's the direct link to start the process on the Twitter website.

    Delete Twitter Download your data

    Don't rely on the archive

    The archive doesn't capture everything.

    • The archive does not include bookmarks.
    • Direct messages do not include who they were to or from.

    It can take a while to receive the file, sometimes longer than 24 hours.

    If there's anything in your account that you need to preserve, … make sure you screencap them in full; don't rely on the archive - Heather Burns.

    Pin an epitaph

    It can be useful to leave a pinned tweet acknowledging your decision.

    Consider including an alternative social media link, an archive link or perhaps a classic email address.

    This account is dormant - I'm having a lovely time on 🐘 Mastodon

    If you've chosen account deletion, a short delay can give people a chance to see your message.

    Consider a ghost account

    Abrupt disconnection can be overwhelming. You don't have to rush deletion.

    Reduce your Twitter activity while you explore your options.
    • A dormant account prevents somebody adopting your username.
    • Valuable social history is preserved.
    • Protect your tweets for increased privacy.

    Your account data is safe… unless someone starts unplugging data centers.

    Twitter is destined to become the world's most expensive social archive.

    Login every few months to prevent your account being deleted.

    Delete the app

    If you're going to persevere with Twitter, use the web version.

    Deleting the app reduces the amount of data that can be extracted from you.

    Use a secure browser. DuckDuckGo can help.
    • Twitter has a history of leaking personal data.
    • The company has fired a significant proportion of staff. Security will suffer.

    Third party Twitter client apps have had their API access revoked. This is intended to funnel users to the official app and increase revenue opportunities.

    ‘Increasing revenue’ often involves increased tracking. Your privacy is at risk.

    Advertisers: look elsewhere.

    Buying ads on Twitter is high-risk. There are potential serious implications for advertisers.

    Ads are increasingly likely to appear associated with white nationalists, extremist influencers, transphobia, misinformation and more.

    Sponsor this website instead 🤣

    Developers: think ahead.

    Twitter is already struggling. The service is becoming increasingly fragile.

    It's time to check for Twitter dependencies and remove them.

    If you haven’t started scrubbing Twitter from your sites, consider this: eventually they are going to 404, then awhile later they will lead to a porn or gambling site - Craig Hockenberry.

    Persevering user? Hedge your bets.

    Tying your online identity to a corporate-owned website is fine for a while but in the very long run anything posted there is, ultimately, ephemeral - Joel Auterson.

    Even if Twitter remains your preferred social app, it's worth having a backup plan.

    Familiarise yourself with a secondary service and include a link in your Twitter bio.

    What happens to your data?

    Want to delete your Twitter messages? Good luck with that.

    Twitter may retain some information on your deactivated account to ensure the safety and security of its platform and people using Twitter - Twitter.

    You can find out what Twitter thinks you like.

    Deletion does not affect information that other users have about you. Copies of messages you have sent will remain accessible to anyone you've interacted with.

    Some account information may still be available in search engines.

    Archive your Tweets

    If you possess core web development skills (or know someone that does) you can generate a website that neatly displays your Twitter archive.

    Inevitably when we are beholden to social media, the terms of service for these sites are subject to change. What can we do to protect our stuff and take back our digital social interactions out of these silo’d spaces and move them to places that we control? - Zach Leatherman.

    Twitter's future

    It is worth considering what the true value of Twitter is for an oligarch dictator.

    Manipulating the recommendation algorithm of a global social media platform to quench your own desire for attention is a dangerous precedent.

    Never trust a big tech company to put ethics and privacy ahead of profit.

    Twitter alternatives

    Try Mastodon: social networking that's not for sale.

    The EFF has produced a helpful series of introductory Mastodon articles.

    I'm pretty sure Mastodon is the first social network I've been on that didn't immediately ask me to betray all of the people in my address book - Brian Krebs.

    As with any social platform, it's not perfect. Decentralised social media has a bright future, but it's worth acknowledging that it might not be for everyone yet.

    I think I’m not alone that Mastodon is giving me the ick - Andy Bell.

    Avoid Facebook and Google products if you can.

    Stay clear of any similar platform that either company builds in future.

    If you have the means, build a ‘home page’ and explore the IndieWeb. Every website started with somebody learning a little HTML.

    For personal communications, Signal is a simple, powerful, and secure messenger.