Posted by: bluesyemre | July 31, 2018

How to delete your past tweets and save your career from your past self


“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” — George Orwell

James Gunn was on top of the world. He’d just directed two of the best action-comedy movies of the past decade. Both of his Guardians of the Galaxy movies were well-received by critics and audiences alike.

But that wasn’t enough to save him from his past self.

It turns out that earlier in his career Gunn had tweeted some rather shocking “jokes” on Twitter. (I won’t share them here — you’re probably better off not reading them.)

Back then, Gunn was an obscure budget horror movie maker. And the tweets in question lie dormant for years in his Twitter history, with nobody reading them or caring.

That is, until a few reporters decided to dig up dirt on him, and unearthed the tweets for all the world to see.

His bosses at Disney immediately decided to “sever their business relationship” with Gunn.

So within the span of a few hours, Gunn went from star director to Hollywood pariah. All because of a few tweets from 2012.

Control your past

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how you can download all your old tweets from Twitter, then quickly delete as many of those tweets as you want — all without sharing any of your data with anyone.

I did this myself a few minutes ago.

Sure, I like the idea of future historians scrutinizing my Tweets asking: “What was Quincy Larson really like?” But not as much as I dislike the idea of some hater digging through my Twitter feed and cherry picking a tweet where I sounded like a jerk.

There are a lot of services you can find that will delete your tweets for you if you give them access to your Twitter account (and maybe some money, too).

I didn’t feel comfortable sharing access to my Twitter accounts with any of those services. In fact, creating such a “tweet deleting” service jumped out at me as a evil genius kind of thing to do. “Oh, you have something to hide, do you?”

But we can leave such dirty work to the digital paparazzi.

Instead, this tutorial will show you how to delete all your tweets from before a certain date yourself — for free and in bulk — using a simple Python script.

It may feel like every tweet from your past is a special and unique snowflake. If you feel this way, you may want to instead manually go through your old tweets and just delete the old tweets that embarrass you.

But if you have thousands of tweets like I do, that’s going to take you hours and hours.

Note that deleting old tweets will not affect your Twitter followers at all, other than to remove some stuff they are frankly too busy to go back and ever read. (There are 350,000 new tweets created every minute on Twitter. Ain’t nobody got time for that!)

Let’s get started!

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