I use Twitter to help promote my business, and I have, on occasion posted tweets that I later regretted. Are tweets permanent, or can I delete them?
Although neither of us uses Twitter for much, and we’re not big fans of the 140-character messaging format, we can see how Twitter can be a useful marketing tool for some people. We won’t even start to discuss it as a political platform. As you, and our Twitterer-in-chief, have found, sometimes you just say things in public you wish you hadn’t.
Luckily, Twitter makes it possible to “take back” your tweets. To undo an error, you start by logging into your Twitter account in a Web browser. Find the tweet you want to delete, and click the downward-facing arrow on the right side of the tweet. From the drop-down menu that appears, select the Delete Tweet option. That’s it! It’s gone. Well, maybe it’s gone. If anyone has captured your tweet using a screen capture tool (one keystroke away in both Windows and Mac), it’s permanent—they can easily post the image of your tweet wherever they like. Check any news Web site, and you’ll see this happens often.
In other words: If you don’t want your tweets to appear in your mother’s news feed, don’t tweet them. Nothing on the public Web can be irreversibly deleted, at least, not in the world of social media.