What Twitter Archive?

Posted on 02/21/2015 in misc

This article got me thinking about Twitter and my archive of over 10,000 tweets. Twitter is very much a virtual bar room conversation tool for me. By "bar room" I mean informal and social, not drunk, although that may have happened once, or twice. I flipped back through older tweets for a few minutes this morning and I barely remembered making a lot of comments that are only a few weeks old. I never go back and look for an old Tweet, not that I could find it if I wanted to, given Twitter's pitiful search functionality. So why are there 10,000+ tweets in my account, with 99.99% of them ignored by me, and everybody else, within 24 hours of posting? What is the point? If I'm not using the archive, or even gaining any benefit, who is?

All good questions, and the more I thought about it the less reason I could come up with for keeping 7 years of tweets around. I've been reducing my digital footprint anyway, and 7 years of old tweets is a pretty damn big footprint that doesn't have any real benefit to me. Twitter is probably mining the data, and actually I assume they still are, even if the stuff isn't publicly available.

A little bit of googling turned up a PHP script written by somebody in Germany, and I quickly had it running on my server. Going forward, I will only be maintaining two weeks worth of tweets. The script will automatically delete anything older.

There are some web services that are offering Twitter cleansing, but you are giving them read / write privileges to your account for them to work. It's probably fine, but why risk it when it's so easy to do it myself with open source code?

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