Nothing good has ever come from an old tweet being unearthed.
- In case you haven't noticed, it doesn't pay to keep around your old tweets — just ask James Gunn, or Kevin Hart.
- People have lost their jobs or seriously damaged their careers because old, immature, or otherwise inappropriate tweets were unearthed.
- The things you say on the internet generally follow you — especially on Twitter.
- If you're using Twitter, and you care at all about your career, you should be deleting your old tweets on a regular basis.
- Thankfully, there are some easy ways, and even some services, to do just that.
First of all, if you ever want to archive your tweets before deleting them, it's easy.
Just go to your settings in Twitter, visit "Your Twitter data," and at the very bottom, you'll see a big button that says "Request data."
It might take awhile, but you'll eventually get an email from Twitter with a big ol' ZIP file full of old tweets.
Now that you've saved your tweets for posterity, you can start working on deleting your tweets.
How you choose to do that is up to you. You can search for specific offensive words in your past tweets, or delete them in batches at a time.
To delete tweets with specific words, you'll want to visit Twitter Advanced Search.
Just search for any bad word you might be thinking of, and you'll see any offensive things you may have said.
You can then manually click and delete each tweet that way.
If you want to try a free service for deleting batches of old tweets at a time, lots of people swear by TweetDelete.Net.
You can delete up to 3,200 of your most recent tweets at a time (Twitter only displays that many at once), and you can choose if you want the service to automatically delete tweets of a certain age.
If you want a more serious service, you'll have to pay for it.
There are plenty of them out there: One of the most popular is Tweetdeleter, which lets you fully delete your entire archive at once, or delete tweets of certain types, or tweets from a specific period of time.
If it's good enough for The New York Times' Farhad Manjoo, it's probably good enough for you, too.
If you're on an iPhone, you can try Tweeticide. It costs $3, and it can similarly wipe out your 3,200 most recent tweets.
Android users have a nice option called Xpire, which — like the others — can delete up to 3,200 tweets.
But it also has a few other tricks: You can share timed tweets that "self-destruct" after a period of time, change tweet expiration times on the fly, determine the riskiness of the content you're about to share, and more.
If you really want to go nuclear, the only other surefire way to erase your tweets, aside from services like these, is to delete your account. Maybe it's time to start fresh, or leave Twitter entirely.
To delete your Twitter account, go to your Settings, click Account, then go to the bottom of the screen and click "Deactivate your account."
Twitter doesn't delete your account immediately; it holds your data for 30 days in case you change your mind.
After that 30-day period, though, you won't be able to reactivate your account, so you have a little time to decide if this is what you want.