Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cardigan?

Cardigan is a service that helps you find and delete old tweets.

Why would I want to do that?

Spoken words are usually quickly forgotten. But our online posts can resurface even years later. So there are several reasons why it's a good idea to audit your old tweets:

You never know when some past tweet might come back to haunt you. Cardigan will help you prevent that unwanted attention.

How does it work?

First you authorize Cardigan to view your tweets and to delete tweets on your behalf.

Cardigan will then fetch your tweets (this takes a few seconds, so please be patient!). You can now scroll through your tweets to find the ones you want to delete. Clicking on a tweet will select it as a candidate for deletion. Clicking on it again will unselect it.

You can sort your tweets in useful ways:

You can filter your teets, restricting them to just retweets or just replies.

You can also search for tweets containing specific words, hashtags or usernames.

Once you have a batch of tweets you want to delete, click on the "Delete Tweets" button. You will then be asked to confirm that you really want to proceed. Once you confirm, the list of tweets to delete will be uploaded to Cardigan's servers, and then slowly deleted.

A progress bar will appear in the top-right corner of the screen, showing you how many of those tweets have been deleted so far.

You can delete in multiple batches. The progress bar will show the combined progress of all of them.

Can I delete retweets?

Yes. Deleting a retweet on Cardigan has the same effect as "unretweeting" on Twitter.

Why does it take a while for my tweets to actually be deleted?

Cardigan has to delete your tweets one by one, sending a separate request to Twitter for each one. So when you click on "Delete", your tweets aren't deleted right away. Instead they are queued up to be deleted over time. How long it takes depends on how busy the site is.

Furthermore, Twitter limits the number of tweets a user can write or delete per hour and per day. Cardigan is subject to those limits, so if you're deleting a large number of tweets Cardigan will spread those out over time.

The progress bar at the top right corner of the screen will show you the progress of your deletion request.

Why is Twitter showing the wrong number of tweets?

After deleting tweets, you may notice that the tweet count on your timeline doesn't equal the number you expect. This is due to miscounting by Twitter. We don't know why this happens, and unfortunately we cannot fix it.

Why can't I view all my tweets?

This is a limitation imposed by Twitter: Cardigan can only access up to 3,200 of your most recent tweets, and sometimes even fewer than that. Cardigan cannot fetch tweets beyond that limit, even if you delete other tweets to "make room".

Unfortunately, those older tweets are still visible on your Twitter timeline, in Twitter searches, and even Google searches. Not to mention the fact that anyone with a direct link to an old tweet can still see it through that link.

NEW! There is now a way for Cardigan to operate on those older, archived tweets! See here for details.

What information does Cardigan record about me?

Cardigan records the content and metadata of your publicly-available tweets.

If you delete a tweet via Cardigan, we erase our record of that tweet immediately, keeping only its id, but not its content.

However if you delete a tweet some other way, we may not immediately be able to know that you've done so. In this case, we'll retain our record of that deleted tweet until we can discover that it's been deleted.

If you want to erase the entire record of your use of Cardigan, you may do so here.

Use of Cardigan is governed by the Privacy Policy

How does Twitter authorization work?

Twitter allows third-party services like Cardigan to perform various actions on behalf of users. When you log in to Cardigan for the first time, you'll be sent to a Twitter page that asks you to confirm that you allow us to act on your behalf.

Cardigan cannot work without this authorization, but you should only proceed if you trust us not to misuse it. We promise we won't post Tweets on your behalf or do anything evil like that. We will only use the authorization to delete the tweets you ask us to delete.

Note that this authorization doesn't give us access to your Twitter password, and you can revoke it at any time.

Why is it called Cardigan?

Because of this excellent and relevant song by Swedish alt-rock band The Cardigans:

Yes, I said it's fine before
But I don't think so no more
I said it's fine before
I've changed my mind, I take it back

Erase and rewind
'Cause I've been changing my mind

Did you have any other music-related name options?

Other potential references included Cher ("If I Could Turn Back Time") and The Smiths ("That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore").

What technologies does Cardigan use?

Cardigan makes use of several open-source technologies:

And of course it uses the Twitter REST API.

Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

My thanks to the authors and maintainers of these excellent resources.

Who created Cardigan?

Cardigan was written as a hobby project over Thanksgiving weekend 2015 by @benjy.

Cardigan is © 2015-2016 Materiality Labs LLC.

Use of Cardigan constitutes consent to the Terms of Service