technology

How to automatically delete DMs and old Twitter messages?


To say that Twitter is currently in trouble would be an understatement. Since the takeover of the platform by Elon Musk, a good part of the employees have been laid off, certain tools have stopped working and the future of the site is more uncertain than ever. This raises important questions regarding the security of your account data since many dedicated teams have left the platform.

Even before the takeover by Musk, Twitter’s data security practices left something to be desired, as evidenced by the testimony of respected engineer Peiter Mudge Zatko, who was fired earlier this year.

If you fear for the security of your private messages or your old tweets, there is a very practical tool to delete them automatically: Semiphemeral.

What is Semiphemeral?

Semiphemeral presents itself as a tool that “protects your privacy by allowing you to easily and automatically delete years of old tweets”. Concretely, the site cleans your history by deleting your old tweets or old private messages.

This is not only very useful if you have been on the social network for years and do not necessarily assume what you posted 10 years ago, but also to protect your personal data. With your Twitter data potentially exposed to hacks or, worse, Elon Musk’s mood swings, it helps to leave as little data on the platform as possible.

On its data privacy policy, Semiphemeral ensures that the site “avoid collecting more information than necessary” and the source code of the tool is available on GitHub.

Connecting Semiphemeral to Twitter user account and start deleting your old posts is a piece of cake.

  • Login to Semiphemeral.com and click Login with Twitter
  • Once your account is connected, you will arrive on your dashboard: click on the Settings tab
  • Configure the tweets you want to automatically delete and those you want to keep (based on seniority, number of likes, RTs, etc.)
  • Press Save
  • Let Semiphemeral download your Twitter archive
  • This step may take a while if you have a lot of messages. The service will send you a private message once the archive has been downloaded
  • Click on the Dashboard tab, then on Start Semiphemeral
  • That’s it, tweets matching your selection criteria will start to be deleted

Direct messages on Twitter may contain more sensitive information due to their nature a priori private. If you’re worried about your personal data, it’s a good idea to clean that up too. Good news, Semiphemeral has an option for that.

  • Login to Semiphemeral.com and click Login with Twitter
  • Once your account is connected, you will arrive on your dashboard, click on the Settings tab
  • Click Give Semiphemeral access to my DMs
  • Once the app is authorized, click on Delete old direct messages and specify the time after which you want your DMs to disappear
  • The maximum figure is 29 days, as Twitter does not provide access to DMs beyond that. Do not panic, there is a technique to delete older messages, we will come back to it
  • Press Save
  • Click on the Dashboard tab, then on Start Semiphemeral
  • Your DMs will start deleting as soon as they exceed the specified time

If you want to delete DMs older than 30 days, it’s possible with a bit of hacking.

  • Appointment on Twitter to download an archive of your data
  • It may take several hours or even days, be patient
  • Once your archive is recovered, look for the files direct-messages.js or direct-messages-group.js
  • Return to Semiphemeral and click on the DMs tab and upload the files in the dedicated interface
  • Click Delete these old DMs

Lo and behold, your private messages will start to disappear little by little.

Whether you want to delete your tweets for personal reasons or to avoid participating in Elon Musk’s new business, you are armed! If you wish, you can make a donation (monthly or one-time) to the platform from the dedicated page.

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