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Twitter - sorry you canNOT delete this message.

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I am pretty sure this is system wide, based on my experience with multiple accounts, but it looks like Twitter has changed who can delete direct messages. In the past either party could delete a message and then it will disappear for both, meaning that there was only one copy of the message. Now only the sender can delete a message. So if you have a lot of people sending you messages, it makes it impossible to remove what one might not want to look at, unless the sender deletes it themselves. The problem is that some people like to keep their messages, PMs, IMs and emails. It is even worst when messages are sent from people that are not following you, so now there is no way to contact the sender to get them to remove it. The results of this are two: 1) The user cannot remove messages; 2) It makes it easy to SPAM people, because they can't remove the messages received.

The solution to this is for Twitter to add two extra columns in their database - a delete column for both the sender and receiver. It will be a boolean column, meaning it can be only true or false. When the system filters which messages to display, whichever column says true for the delete then that user does not get to see that message. The message can be truly deleted when both users have marked it delete either during a routine database maintenance and optimization, or when a user marks a message as deleted the system can check if the other user also has marked it delete. If both have done so then the message can be completely removed, in real time.

Whatever Twitter decides as far how direct messages are managed, it would be nice to be able to delete unwanted ones once again.

BTW, if you are not, you can follow me on Twitter by following either TheTitan or DomainVentory.

So tell me, are you bothered by these changes from Twitter or not?

[poll id="5"]


  1. Yeah this seriously pissed me off. I always delete my messages after reading, and after sending. I never had a problem with people not getting the messages. Now I can't delete them without risking the person not seeing it? And I have my inbox stuck at 6-8 right now? (Oh yeah, I have 2 I deleted months ago that RANDOMLY pop up and Twitter knows about it but can't fix it.)

    Fuckers. This REALLY makes me mad.

    My DH informs me you can delete them via tweetdeck still.

  2. It really sucks if you are still experiencing problems with Twitter's messaging system. For me, the problem went away in about a week.

    In regard to the two messages, Twitter's techs should be able to delete the massages from their main database. When it is replicated to their backup databases the messages should be permanently gone. Unless, of course, they do restore from a back up. At that point I do not think that the community would appreciate their old messages appearing an new ones disappearing. There are ways around that though.

    In any case, clearing the cache and optimizing the databases should remove ghost messages.

  3. One reason sender cannot be sole deleter or one person deletes and it's gone on both side - what if the sender is threatening someone or continually harrasing them? You need the DMs for evidence, so best is either party cab delete from their own box only.

  4. I also would prefer for either party to be able to delete the massage on their end with the other participant begin able to retain copy.

    As far as harassment, I think that Twitter should cache DM. Although, after the most recent policy update it looks like they are being proactive when it comes to bullying.


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