[GUIDE] Spring-Cleaning Twitter and Facebook

Sunday, February 9, 2014 @ 11:35 pm

Sure it may be an ego booster that you have over 4,000 tweets, but do you REALLY need to have your tweet from when you passed your driving test back in 2007 up for the world to see? This guide goes through how you can quickly and easily delete past tweets and Facebook posts.

 Twitter

I’ve personally used the succinctly named Tweet Delete service to delete all of my tweets.

  1. (Optional) To make a back-up of your tweets, go to https://twitter.com/settings/account, scroll to the bottom and click on Request your archive. Proceed to step #2 once you have downloaded your archive.
  2. Go to www.tweetdelete.net
  3. Tick the I have read and agree to the TweetDelete terms box and click on the “Sign In” button
  4. It will redirect you to Twitter where you will need to sign in and authorize the Tweet Delete app
  5. It will redirect you back to the Tweet Delete site, where you will see this lovely page:
    Tweet Delete
  6. You have a few options here:
    1. If you want to immediately delete ALL of your tweets, tick the “Delete all my existing tweets before activating this schedule” checkbox
    2. If you want to delete tweets that are older than a certain point in time, select the point in time in the dropdown list
  7. (Optional) Untick Post to my feed to let my friends know I activated TweetDelete and Follow @Tweet_Delete for future updates
  8. Click on “Activate TweetDelete” to start the cleaning process!
    1. It should start deleting your (old) tweets. Note: you might need to wait a while for the process to start.
  9. Let it run and keep monitoring your Twitter every now and then to see its progress.
  10. (Optional) Once it is finished, and if you are using Tweet Delete as a one-time thing, go to your Twitter Apps page and revoke access for the Tweetdelete.net app just because you don’t really need to be giving it access any more (note: if you have scheduled it to regularly delete tweets older than a certain duration, you’ll need to leave its access intact for it to work):
    Revoking access for Tweet Delete

Facebook

Facebook is a different beast. They have made it very difficult for users to delete their past activities. Luckily there are a few scripts out there that people have created to automate this process. I’d like to note that this script is pretty indiscriminatory, meaning it will delete any/all things (except friends, so that’s nice).

  1. (Optional) To get a ZIP file of your Facebook life, go to https://www.facebook.com/settings and at the bottom, click on Download a copy of your Facebook data. Proceed to step #2 once you have safely downloaded the ZIP file.
  2. If you use Firefox, get Greasemonkey. If you use Chrome, get Tampermonkey.
  3. Once installed, add the Absterge script
  4. (Optional but recommended) For faster performance, you’ll want to disable the loading of images in Firefox/Chrome.
    1. Firefox: in your address bar, paste in about:config and press enter. Search for permissions.default.image. Note its current value (which in most cases is 1). Set it to 2.
    2. Chrome: go to chrome://settings/content, and under “Images“, set it to “Do not show any images
  5. Navigate to your Activity Log in Facebook by clicking on the gear icon in the top-right corner, and click on Activity Log
  6. If you do not see the Absterge link in the top-right navigation menu, press CTRL + F5 to refresh your cache and have it appear (WARNING: do NOT click it yet!):
    Absterge for Facebook
  7. Once you are able to see the yellow Absterge link, you are able to choose what it removes by clicking on the section in the left-hand navigation menu:
    Controlling Absterge

    1. If you want it to delete all photos, status updates, likes, comments, leave it at “All“. If you only want to remove your likes, click on the “Likes” link.
    2. If you want it to delete things starting from a certain point in time, in the right-hand menu, click on the year/month to start deleting from.
  8. Once you have selected what you want to delete, click on the yellow Absterge link. Without any confirmation or prompt, it will start deleting/unliking things.
  9. Let the script run. It’s best to completely leave your computer/browser alone for it to do its job.
  10. Note: the script does an iffy job at hiding posts/photos you have been tagged in, so you will need to go through the “Posts You’re Tagged In” section.
  11. You’d want to undo your changes you made in step #4, if you have disabled the loading of images in your browser.