Yahoo Finance’s Dan Howley joins the live broadcast to explain how someone can delete their Twitter account.
AKIKO FUJITA: Well, Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter has already caused many users to leave the platform. The social media company is reporting massive deactivations and large swings in follower counts this week. Twitter says the move has been organic despite the timing of the changes, but that begs the question, how are you going to close your account? For a deeper dive, we have Yahoo Finance’s Dan Howley in this week’s Tech Support. And Dan, you know, it’s like it’s as easy as deleting the account, but is there more to it?
DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, it’s a bit trickier because social media does it that way, just to keep you hooked forever. So, let us give you a brief overview on how to delete your account if you wish. By the way, poor Katy Perry lost about 200,000 followers. So I don’t know what she did wrong, but whew. So very quickly, if you have your account on the web, iOS or Android, you can deactivate it, but then you have to wait for some time to delete it.
So here’s how you would turn it off. You log in, then you click on your profile picture, then select Settings and privacy. This will take you to another menu where you will see something called Account Options. Then you will scroll down to the area that says Deactivate your account. Now this is where it gets a little tricky. When you do this, you will have two options: 30 days or one year. They will appear as 12 months. I think we can do that calculation.
When you select this, you are essentially choosing how long you want a waiting period to last before the account is actually deleted. Select 30 days – that’s the shortest time – and then you’re basically set. Just log out of Twitter. If you do, however, go back to your account, log in, those 30 days are gone. This year is going. And your account is no longer disabled. It’s just a normal account. So you should be careful to stay off of Twitter during this whole time.
Now this will involve logging out of any other services you might have your account connected to. For example, if you use TweetDeck or use Twitter as your primary login for anything else online, you’ll need to be sure to deactivate your account or unlink your account from those services. Otherwise, it will call Twitter, then your account will no longer be deactivated. It will be active again.
So, after this 30-day or one-year period, you can completely delete your account and say goodbye to Twitter. But just saying goodbye doesn’t mean all your old tweets are gone. They are always available online because everything on the Internet is permanent. But there is a way to keep them away, for the most part. And there are some apps you can get that are third-party vendors that will log into your Twitter account and erase everything you’ve ever posted, including likes, retweets, and actual tweets, from existence.
Again, not everything disappears on the Internet. There’s the Wayback Machine that can back things up. But you can still, for the most part, say goodbye to all that and not have to worry about Twitter in the future. We were just chatting over break that there’s a lot of stuff I wish I hadn’t posted online since college that I really, really want to get rid of. So maybe I’ll do it later.
But once you’ve done all that, you should be done with Twitter. I just want to point out, however, that you will be using third-party services. So be sure to trust them when entering your information, as you will need to enter your full login for these services in order to access your account and delete your tweets.
AKIKO FUJITA: Dan, I’m curious what you guys think of these deactivations we’ve seen. You mentioned Katy Perry’s account as such. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has had over 90,000 followers added to her account. Former President Barack Obama has lost, according to NBC News, up to 300,000 subscribers. What do you think is going on?
DAN HOWLEY: I think there might be people who wanted to leave and others who wanted to join. Obviously the idea that Obama…I don’t know where Katy Perry fits into that, but the idea that Obama would lose users, that’s just going to be a political question, Obama obviously being a Democrat . People who remain leaning don’t necessarily like the idea of Elon Musk taking over and want to allow all forms of speech on the platform, whether or not it’s disinformation, disinformation or speech. of hate. It looks like it won’t be a priority for him to moderate.
And then it brings people who claim that Twitter is silencing them, which a lot of conservatives have done. And then they may float to people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, but we may also have seen an explosion of bots. Some bots may have been removed. I know they said it was organic, but that’s a huge number of people. And Twitter only has over 200,000 — sorry, over 200 million users. It’s not a massive platform. So this kind of loss is huge for Twitter itself.
So I don’t see how these are all real users, not to say some of them aren’t, but there must be some sort of problem with the bots, duplicate accounts can to be, things like that that came and went. And that’s why we saw this explosion.
AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, Twitter is definitely not big on numbers when you compare it to other social media platforms, but big on influence, which is why so many people still stick around. Dan Howley, thank you very much for that.