Why I Delete Old Content

Yesterday, I asked Fosstodon if anyone knows of a tool that can automatically delete content from Mastodon. I’ve since found a great tool and posted about that too.

In response to that second Toot, Nathan Wrigley asked why I routinely delete my old content? I could have answered him in a reply on Mastodon, but thought it best to unpick it here in a longer form.

It’s not just Toots

If you don’t know, Toots are Mastodon’s version of a Tweet on Twitter. Mastodon and Twitter are the only social networks I really use and I automatically delete all my Tweets once they become 6 months old. I occasionally delete old posts on this blog too.

Now, thanks to the advice of the Fosstodon community, I do the same with my Mastodon Toots as well.

Why I delete content

I think I summarise my position on this matter well in my disclaimer, which says the following:

This blog is intended to provide a semi-permanent, point in time snapshot of the various thoughts running around my brain. As such, any thoughts and opinions expressed within my previous posts may not be the same, or even similar, to those I may hold today.

I feel exactly the same about my Twitter and Fosstodon accounts. Everything I Tweet/Toot on those platform is an ephemeral thought that’s popped into my brain. So in 6 months time, they’re very unlikely to be relevant or useful.

When it comes to my blog, I don’t automatically delete posts when they become a certain age. Instead I regularly review my archives and decide what’s relevant and what can be deleted. So I don’t end up serving a load of 404 errors, I redirect those posts to my post removed page.

Conclusion

If we think about privacy and the future, I don’t want to be the next KFC Girl, so I clean up my drivel. Many of the posts I create on social media have very little thought go into them, so once they’ve served their purpose, they can be deleted.

I also wouldn’t want something I’ve said years ago be taken out of context (or taken correctly, but I’ve changed my opinion since). So it’s easier to delete my shizzle.

So there you have it, that’s why I delete old content from the various places I post online. Have you ever thought about deleting your old content? If not, maybe this post will make you re-consider?

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