Since Elon Musk bought Twitter in late October, there has been speculation about the future of the most used social media platform by journalists, politicians and celebrities from various countries. A major concern is that Twitter, as a product, will stop functioning properly after about two-thirds of its employees quit or were laid off in the past month. Among other thingsthere was no one left to carry on the teams responsible for privacy and security policies and features, and the team managing the site’s IT architecture was reduced to four people from 100 at the end of October.
In this context, many experts say that it is the right time to archive your data, so that you can access tweets and private messages sent in the past even if you want to cancel your account or the platform should become unusable.
Twitter doesn’t appear to be shutting down suddenly at the moment, but if some of its features were to malfunction there would be few people left capable of fixing the problem. Downdetector.com, the site that collects reports relating to the malfunction of the main social platforms, has recorded thousands of cases of service interruptions on Twitter in recent days. Added to this is the concern that the site is now particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks which could, for example, target users’ private messages, which, unlike those exchanged on services such as WhatsApp or Signal, are not protected by end-end encryption. to-end and therefore are immediately readable by anyone with access to Twitter’s servers.
How to archive your data on TwitterFor years, Twitter has offered its users the option to download a backup of all their data, which includes all account information, the history of what posted, searched and sent with the account, as well as information on the interests of the Twitter. collected by the company for advertising purposes.
Normally Twitter should take up to 24 hours to prepare and send this data, but in the last week several users have reported serious delays in receiving their archive.
To request a backup, simply go to the Settings and assistance section of your profile (found by clicking on “Other” in the left column of the site from the desktop) → Settings and privacy → Your account → Download your data archive. At that point you will be asked to enter your Twitter profile password, an identity verification code will be sent via SMS or email and you just need to click “Request the archive”. Once the archive is ready, you will receive both an internal notification and an email. There is a time limit to download the file, so download it as soon as you receive the notification.
More advice in case of technical problems with TwitterTo be found elsewhere by your followersFor days, several common and famous users have been sharing links to their profiles on other social platforms with their followers, to stay in touch even in the event of technical problems, or to be reached by people who, for some reason, decide to stop using Twitter.
“Post a tweet that says where else you can be reached online and pin it as a featured tweet on your profile. If you have people you communicate with only through private messages on Twitter, write to them to ask for an alternative contact. If you decide to post details about how you can be reached on Twitter, be careful that you only share details that you want to make public. Avoid deleting your Twitter account entirely for now. This will prevent your old username from being made available to someone else, potentially being used by someone who wants to pretend to be you.” recommend the Washington Post.
To protect your privacyThe New York Times, instead, give some advice on what to do if you are concerned about the privacy and security of your profile now that the team that took care of it in the company is practically gone.
First, it suggests checking your privacy settings. “If you’ve ever allowed Twitter to see your location, now is a good time to delete that data. Go to Settings and privacy, then Privacy and security → Location information → Add location information to your Tweets. At this point, select Remove all location information attached to your Tweets to delete all previously saved data».
A similar thing can be done with the data that Twitter collects to show personalized advertising: always in the Privacy and security section you will find the wording Preferences for ads. Inside it, you can decide to uncheck the box “Custom ads”, if in the past you had consented to receive them.
As for direct messages, which as already mentioned are not protected by end-to-end encryption and therefore are particularly vulnerable to possible attacks, there are several services that promise to help ordinary users delete them in one fell swoop, but not all they are equally safe.
A service recommended by New York Times is Semiphemeralthat as opposed to other alternatives promises not to collect or store any user data. Semiphemeral allows you to delete all tweets posted before a certain date or select individual tweets you want to delete. It also allows you to delete private messages, but can only do so for the profile of the user who requested their deletion: those messages will continue to exist for the people who received them, and there is currently no method for deleting them in their own profile.