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How to Permanently Delete Your Twitter Account

Many people think of Twitter as just some broadcasting SMS service that lets other people follow you and otherwise engage in short impersonal conversation. Few give Twitter much concern in the same way they might Facebook, for example, and it makes sense not to.

After all, Twitter doesn’t ask you to upload private profile information and messages. Everything posted on Twitter is publicly accessible, so people are generally more cautious about what they post. But here’s a few things that you might not have known about Twitter, as per its privacy policy:

  • Twitter’s “servers automatically record information (“Log Data”) created by your use of the Services. Log Data may include information such as your IP address, browser type, operating system, the referring web page, pages visited, location, your mobile carrier, device and application IDs, search terms, and cookie information.”
  • Twitter stores and and will only delete “any common account identifiers, such as your username, full IP address, or email address, after 18 months.”
  • If you connect your Twitter account to any 3rd party service, such as Facebook, information from that account is now indefinitely stored on Twitter’s servers. However it does mention that this data will be removed “a few weeks” after “your disconnecting from Twitter your account on the other service.”

I’m extremely annoyed by the increase in tech companies dumbing down their privacy policies over time to make them “easier to understand.” The results I’ve seen so far with Facebook and Google are more ambiguous, less transparent, and more questionable policies.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Twitter is anywhere near as unethical as Facebook, but why do they need to hang onto all of your personally identifiable information for 18 months? This might not seem like a problem, but here is where it starts to get tricky. About 4 months ago Twitter saw a recoil from mobile users because when you let Twitter scan your mobile phone, Twitter uploads all of your contacts phone numbers, email addresses and addresses to their servers. Now that Twitter has this data, they can hang onto it for as long they want. Hopefully it’s only 18 months as stated in the privacy policy regarding other data. If you work in any type of occupation where client confidentiality is important, or legally obligated, this is a big problem.

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With all of that said, if you want to remove your Twitter account, it’s going to take about a month.

Login to your Twitter account and click the Profile >> Settings button.

twitter account settings

Scroll down the account page and at the bottom click the link-

twitter deactivate link

You’ll be asked if you’re sure you want to deactivate. But it’s not like it matters anyway. All it takes to undo this process is logging back into your account. And when doing so you aren’t notified that you’ve canceled your deactivation. It just pops right back up, right as rain, like nothing ever happened. If your registered email account doesn’t have strict spam filters, you might see an account reactivation email, but that’s it.

Deactivation is required to delete your Twitter account. And the account will only be deleted after 30 straight days without any use whatsoever. But as before, this is going to take a while, so click that button and get started now.

say goodbye to twitter

Just in case the previous screen wasn’t enough to make sure this isn’t want you want to do, Twitter will ask you to re-enter your password and push another blue confirmation button.

confirm twitter deactivate

With that done, your Twitter account should be deactivated… For now.

wait 30 days for twitter to delete

I know I might sound a little harsh on Twitter. But for good reason.  A 30 day deactivation policy before an automated delete is a little bit ridiculous. If at anytime in this 30 days you accidentally log into your account, you have to start the process all over again. Sound familiar? Facebook has a similar policy, except it only has a two-week grace period to avoid. So what gives with the 30-day policy Twitter? Why can’t I just delete my account right now!

Since it’s going to take a month of avoiding logging in. You might need to go through all of your services and apps that integrate with Twitter and make sure that you disconnect them from your account. The same goes for web browsers that automatically log you in when you visit Twitter.com. Everything needs to go, or you might find you’ve accidentally reactivated your account.

reactivation notice via email

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12 Responses to How to Permanently Delete Your Twitter Account

  1. Steve Krause June 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    I don’t think we should be shocked that any FREE service is going to be farming and storing data around usage, relationships and other data we might pump through the service. Nothing is free and everyone needs to make money — including companies that provide these free services. Ad revenue is just 1 say and data aggregation is the other.

    Can blame them, I think people just need to be aware of it. Good article Austin. I’m not going to nuke my account but it’s all good to know.

  2. Theo April 20, 2015 at 9:48 am #

    I have been trying for a year to “deactivate” my account. I have followed the steps outlined per Twitter. I have received confirmation that account will be deleted in 30 days. HOWEVER, within 7 days I receive notices from Twitter that account has been reactivated.
    This has been going on for almost a year…round and round. Any and all contact information to Twitter does not work (at least what I have found).
    So I am not sure what to make of the procedure that Twitter has. For me, it does not work.
    Any solutions?

  3. Khema mahiya November 6, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

    My profile button not working

  4. Khema mahiya November 6, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

    My profile button not working and i want deactivate my account

  5. Keamogetse December 20, 2015 at 1:59 am #

    my profile not working

  6. V January 15, 2016 at 11:14 am #

    I’m having the same problem as theo. I keep deactivating and someone must be hacking it and reactiveating, it’s happened a couple of times now! I haven’t even used this count in years and even then only tweeted like three times.

  7. khema mahiya January 25, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

    i’m not found “deactivate my account” option in setting
    what do

  8. khema mahiya January 25, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

    i’m not found “deactivate my account” option in setting
    so what i do

  9. Rick Morris January 26, 2016 at 1:51 am #

    I need online to sow me deactivate click on

  10. Todd.P August 30, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

    One Problem: THIS DOES NOT WORK!!! I have “permanently” deleted my account 3 times in the last 95 days. It’s still active!!!

  11. Bevy October 1, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    My Twitter accounts either do not deactivate bc my phone is logged in and I deactivate from my computer or deactivate early … after only a week of inactivity… maybe they know I will never come back LOL anti-social media u gotta love it NOT!

  12. Jacquelyn December 7, 2016 at 6:44 pm #

    I thought you were gonna tell us how to skip the 30 day wait and do it permanently. I don’t want to delete my account but I do think the 30 day wait is ridiculous. I remember when it used to be a 24 hour wait. So much better than 30 days,

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