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:
  • If you've changed your mind about something, old tweets may no longer reflect your views.
  • It's hard to convey context and nuance in 140 characters. Old tweets, outside the context of time, place and conversation thread, may give the wrong impression.
  • We all sometimes say things we don't mean, or that have impact we don't intend, and don't realize it until much later.
  • Some of your old tweets may contain links to content that no longer exists.
  • You may simply want to clear out the clutter from your timeline and keep only the most interesting 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 can take several 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:

  • Newest to oldest - just like on Twitter
  • Oldest to newest
  • Most to least retweets
  • Most to least favorites

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.

Clicking "Delete All" will delete all the tweets that currently match your filters.

Clicking "Delete Selected" will delete just the ones you've clicked on.

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 deleted.

You can view the deletion progress, but please note that this can take some time, especially when the site is busy.

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.

Can I delete retweets?

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

Can I delete likes?

Yes. You can now view, search, filter and delete your likes just as you can your tweets!

Why can't I sort and filter by number of retweets or favorites?

This feature is only available for tweets fetched directly from Twitter. The tweet archive doesn't contain retweet or favorite counts, so if you've uploaded an archive you won't be able to sort or filter by those counts. You can still search by keyword though!

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 must I upload an archive to delete old 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.

Fortunately, there is still a way for Cardigan to operate on those older, archived tweets! You can download an archive of your old tweets from Twitter, and then upload it to Cardigan. See here for details.

Why can't I delete older likes?

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

There is no way to delete likes from an archive like there is for tweets. So unfortunately it is not possible to delete old likes.

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 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 © 2015-2018 Materiality Labs LLC.

Use of Cardigan constitutes consent to the Terms of Service