Lately, I have been working with clients who face serious security threats. Some of these people are surprised by what can be learned about them from internet searches. Removing this information is a challenge, especially from social media sites like Twitter.
Twitter presents an interesting challenge. Once you publish a Tweet, a lot of other websites take your Tweet and reproduce it in a database. Topsy, Snap Bird, the Library of Congress, and many others get in on the act.
Of course, you can delete your Twitter account, but your Tweets will live on in a third party database.
The best solution that I have found is to remove all the Tweets from your account rather than deleting the account itself. When some third party site comes to collect your tweets to update their database, they also overwrite or delete your old Tweets and replace them with nothing matching the empty Twitter profile.
Doing this also prevents some malicious adversary from waiting thirty days then opening a new account using your deleted Twitter account name. Of course, keeping the account also allows you to start using it for some subtle disinformation.
If your Twitter account has thousands of Tweets like mine does, then you need an automated deletion service.
Twit Wipe fits the bill. Provide the service with your Twitter password and set it lose. Once Twit Wipe has done its job, change the Twitter password.
After thirty days, you should start searching for the deleted Tweets to identify any sites that still have them. If they still exist on some sites after sixty days, then consider requesting their removal.