My Experience Cleansing My Social Media

The Process Required to Cleanse My Social Media Timelines

An explanation into what programs, extensions or methods used to clean my social media accounts; and a rating of the process of cleansing a social media account.

Episode #10-16 released on November 24, 2019

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If you are anywhere near my age or post a lot, you'll have a huge backlog of posts, likes, shares, etc. all-over Social Media. I resolved to cleanse my past of dead links and events I have long forgotten and move forward with a cleansed social media presence that allows myself to be more focused online. It can, also, be a great way to mitigate psychological issues, it can help avoid issues while being hired, avoid issues related to past comments and speech that no longer reflects you, etc. While, it is true that some people will simply save your past posts if you are even remotely famous, for the majority of people, this is not going to be an issue.

Today, this is the process it took just to clean, or try to clean, my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Mailchimp, Reddit, and Pinterest Profiles. I will provide links to the services and software I used to help me in this endeavor, and if they interest you, I invite you to use them, as well.

I've rated the process of cleansing each of the platforms I mentioned. Social media platforms lose a grade whenever they throw random errors during the process that prevent automated tasks from working, require time consuming manual labor, end up incurring a cost, don't have all posts, likes, shares, comments, etc. in the same place or section, or end up having a sustained unresolvable error.

I started this project a while ago while researching how to clean my Twitter profiles. I was intrigued by this problem on so many levels. I've had my Facebook account a long time and remember doing it manually at the very beginning and remembering that it took an exceedingly long time to achieve. I am a patient person and I know how to create quick keyboard macros, but Social Networks love information and making it easier for a person to cleanse their own past defeats the intentions of Social Media giants which is to use your past to predict your future, or even manipulate you.

We shall begin with Twitter and we can definitely see an issue immediately. The Twitter API allows access to the last up to 3200 tweets and you cannot restart the process to delete the next 3200 tweets, all the other tweets are inaccessible to the API directly. I used Tweet Delete to handle all my Twitter accounts, and only had issues with one particular account because of the 3200-tweet limit. I still had thousands of tweets to delete. The solution was available by Tweet Delete for only a single payment of Ten Dollars USD for a lifetime premium account. By downloading my own data and uploading the tweet.js file to Tweet Delete, it was able to delete the entire archive in minutes. For that reason, I can give Twitter a B-Rating. Why? Because it is still possible to delete everything, even if I had to pay for it, otherwise it would have been an extremely time-consuming process to achieve manually.

My Pinterest account, which mind you, I ignore, was much simpler. I only needed to delete all my boards and other information. It took less than 5 minutes manually. Anyone can reasonably do it easily. I can easily give them an A-Rating. Why? Because they don't intentionally hamper your ability to delete everything.

Instagram can be done manually, and in that case, I archived all but a very select few photographs. As for saved photos, I used the Unsaver for Instagram extension in Google Chrome which allowed me to select all and delete in less than 30 seconds. I can give them an A-Rating for saves and posts. Why? Because they don't prevent mass deletion and the process is simple. For posts I have included a link to a video by another creator suggesting software for iOS and Android.

Mailchimp. Not really social networking, still a tool I use for my shows. I've used it for many years. Now, while I understand why some people would like to keep the Newsletter archive, this is why it is useless in my case, each email consists of the YouTube video, the show notes, the sources and resources used. It is basically the entire package in one. The exact same thing exists on my web-site as a permanent page. Hence, having a redundant copy is pointless in that manner. Select all and Delete was time consuming. I'll still be able to give them a B-Rating because they make no attempt, beyond reasons for security, to block you from deleting everything.

Facebook, the most annoying experience in social media cleansing when it comes to a personal profile or page. Let's start off with pages. You can go to publishing tools in the options for a Facebook page. You can select all and then delete. However, if there is something like a profile picture or banner, it suddenly prevents the process from working. Worse, it is glitchy at best, useless at worse. I had to go to page two and select all and delete from there until I was left with a single page. Of all 6 pages, my Zed Axis Dot Net page has the Publishing Tools basically useless and inoperative now. The only rating, I can provide for Facebook pages is a D-Rating. Because of glitchy behavior of the code and the permanent glitch I have on one of six pages that I will have to resolve now.

For a Facebook Profile, it gets even worse. Everything is scattered. To completely cleanse a 12-year-old profile, you will need to head over to the activity log and use a tool like Social Book Post Manager many times over a period of many days to remove all posts, comments, likes and hide everything else. It takes many tries because of the number of hoops the program has to go through and whenever something doesn't exist, the Facebook activity log throws an error that isn't compensated for or, and neither could it be, as if it was trying to defend the data that you have provided to Facebook. Worse yet, you still have to go to your profile, click manage posts, select all, then try to delete or archive. If there is even one item that can only be archived, nothing can be deleted in that list, and the total number of items selectable at once is 50, an artificial limit. You would think that a company as old as Facebook being part of the modern era of social networking would have thought to have a refined, user friendly method of cleaning a profile, but that is too much to ask from a giant like Facebook. I give it a F-rating, failing it due to its incompetence and lack of vision. The quickest way to delete all the data is to close the account, let it expire and make a new one, and I am not joking. This is because in the time that it took me to partially achieve my goal, the account would have been deleted from their servers.

The last platform I will be talking about is Reddit. Reddit is where I get a lot of memes, talk to a lot of people, and get into a lot of debates. My project to cleanse my Reddit account is one that is as loaded as my Facebook profile, with one important difference. Reddit has everything in a profile, on dedicated set of pages and you can use browser extensions to clean it all up. Cleaning my saved posts took minutes using one line of JavaScript code and an extension called Tampermonkey. Cleaning up my comments took a while and required the use of a browser extension called Nuke Reddit History, which overwrites the original comment before deleting it. There is no active attempt to stop me from deleting my comments, it just took a long time to do so. Since, it took longer to find a solution to delete all my posts, comments and saves, and because it is not clearly indicated online, I have to give Reddit a B-rating. Why? Because the user base has requests for a select all and delete option, and never received it, and due to the lack of available information. But, as a result of having to find a way to clean my reddit account, next week, we will be looking at Tamper Monkey, the browser extension I used to clean my Reddit saved posts that can have short bits of tailor made code designed to clean any place online, with a little programming knowledge.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Dot Net

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