TwitWipe (a tortuous process due to bugs in TwitWipe - plus retweets need to be manually deleted).
Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, eh?! (If you believe that, read this first.)
Here's a list of my reasons why I feel this is a sound policy:
1.) Tweets are of the moment, and much of what I tweet about is pretty much redundant even a day after the tweet, never mind a few years.
2.) It's very easy to take a tweet out of context, especially given the limited number of characters to clarify. It's too easy for someone to quote a single tweet of mine out of context and misrepresent my intentions.
3.) I treat remarks on twitter like spoken conversation. Why would I want a permanent record of every word I ever spoke? As per the first two points I want to be free to discuss what's on my mind today and not have some future person or application trawl through my tweets from the last 2 years and put me in some box or other.
4.) I don't think I have anything to hide. (Have I said that enough, yet?) But too many people are having their lives disrupted due to throw-away comments made on Twitter. Examples include Paul Chambers, who's since lost two jobs due to a single misguided tweet, John Dixon, a councillor facing investigation by Wales' public standards watchdog for a tweet about Scientology, and Kevin Pietersen, who was fined by the England and Wales Cricket Board for what I thought was a perfectly understandable outburst posted in the heat of the moment. Many more examples are emerging of ordinary people being judged by throw-away comments analysed after the fact.
5.) 99% Boring - with so many thousands of tweets in my stream the good stuff - or at least the tweets I think others should be interested in - are lost. I'm going to try and wipe the chaff on a regular basis, but this may prove too much hard work.
I'm not sure whether this is the right move, but I'm going to give it a try. If you have any thoughts please feel free to comment below.. (And then return in a month to delete your comment!!)
Update 21-Sep-2010: Dan Benton questions whether tweets can actually be "deleted" and set up this fantastic experiment. My initial thoughts on this were: I suspect they [these third-party services] have to honour deletes else open themselves up legally, e.g. in a libel claim.
If I make a libellous claim in a tweet, then any other publisher who repeats that claim could be pursued for damages as a co-defendant. I could enter an agreement with the claimant to delete said tweet - and, as is most likely, publish an apology - in exchange for the case being dropped. Services re-publishing my tweets and not honouring delete notifications could themselves be the subject of legal action.
Knowing a few publishers as I do I know they have means to get indexed and cached search results of web pages removed from search engines in a reasonably prompt fashion on the few occasions articles are removed under threat of legal action. I suspect these search engines play by similar rules.
But I'm eagerly awaiting the results of Dan's experiment.
PS Dan - who told you to play nice, and would you otherwise not have played nice ;-)