Deleted Tweets not searchable anymore within Twitter

Mon 26 October 2009 14:01, Editors

Deleted Tweets not searchable anymore within Twitter

Sometimes somebody makes a tweet and then realizes it might not have been the best sentence to share with the rest of the world. In the Netherlands for example Ajax-footballer Gregory van der Wiel tweeted he was at a rap-concert. Two days prior he had skipped a trip with the Dutch National team to Australia because of a concussion. After that he wished he hadn't sent the tweet because newspapers and sporting sites all jumped on this.

It then is handy you can delete a tweet so no one could reach it anymore. Twitter however did allow you to delete the tweet, but the tweet never really was gone. Through a twitter search the tweet could still be recovered by anyone by searching for your twitter username. Twitter has now corrected this error.

If you now delete a tweet it is immediately also removed from the search index. And not just that, they are also removed from the API. That means that for example Tweetdeck will drop the tweet when restarted.


Does this mean your tweets are safe? No, not at all. Twitter may delete them from the index, there are still many ways the tweets can be recovered. Just think of the deal Twitter made with Google and Bing. If you wait long enough with deleting the tweet chances are it will still show up in these results. But the fact that Twitter clears them will mean they won't be there for long. Next to that Twitter can't control all the tools out there. Some might use the API, but could very well build up their own index.

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