Deleted Tweets Finally Deleted from Twitter Search

Over the years, Twitter search was plagued by an unbelievable flaw. Deleted tweets remained in Twitter’s search index and thus, would appear in the search results regardless of the conscious act of manually removing the tweets from your personal stream. Believe it or not, this problem remained constant much to the dismay of many power users. To my pleasant surprise, Twitter has finally rectified this problem and has officially removed deleted tweets from its index.

Now that Google and Bing are channeling Twitter search results, it’s widely suspected that Twitter had no choice but to remedy this enduring problem. Imagine if your deleted tweets ranked among the top results in Google or Bing? Obviously privacy is a primary concern and this is a step in the right direction. However, privacy on the social Web is an oxymoron of sorts. Once a Tweet is published for example, it is indexed by many other third-party services, networks and applications. And, even if you delete a Tweet, it still may reside somewhere else. For example, if you stream your Tweets to Facebook and Tumblr, obviously you’d have to delete the updates across multiple platforms. But, the other challenge is that there are several other services that pull tweets where they may also reside once deleted.

Either way, to officially have deleted tweets removed from search results is a welcome update that is way overdue, but valued nonetheless.

Oh, and make sure to check out Collecta for real-time search results…it not only indexes the live twitter feed, but also the social web to reveal activity around keywords as they appear online. (Note: I’m a tech adviser to the team.)


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  • http://twitter.com/joemanna Joseph Manna

    There's also a fairly recent change to note — searched Tweets only go back about a week or so. I can't quite confirm it, but old tweets are no longer visible via search. This enhancement validates that Twitter is working on making the search better and more useful (and less straining) on the servers.

    Thanks for sharing this. Good to know!

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Hi Joseph, I believe if you use search.PeopleBrowsr.com, tweet search goes back 30 days…

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  • dbulson

    This is a nice update. One of the major issues with social networking is the lack of privacy. Your post on teens using Twitter, more now than ever before, makes his update even more important. Teens often forget how visible social media makes them, and having more privacy is a plus for anyone.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • angelinasimon

    How can we be sure if its deleted at all? The moment we type and send it, someone else reads it, and some twitter client would have fetched it. Or maybe, that moment a Google bot caches the page.
    I dont think twitter not saving them is a solution at all. But its a start!Managed hosting

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Angel, truly nothing on the web is ever deleted, although removing it from twitter search makes that particular piece of content much more difficult to discover.

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  • http://www.craigspr.org craigspr

    Deleting previous tweets from twitter search may not solve everything but at least it's a start.

    http://www.craigspr.org

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  • Clemence Ko

    Its great to hear that Twitter is finally implementing this. At least we know our deleted tweets is REALLY DELETED.

  • Clemence Ko

    Its great to hear that Twitter is finally implementing this. At least we know our deleted tweets is REALLY DELETED.

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ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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