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Delete (very) old tweets obtained from a twitter archive
# Largely copied from
# However, Mathew's script cannot delete tweets older than something like a year (these tweets are not available from the twitter API)
# This script is a complement on first use, to delete old tweets. It uses your twitter archive to find tweets' ids to delete
# How to use it :
# - download and extract your twitter archive (tweet.js will contain all your tweets with dates and ids)
# - put this script in the extracted directory
# - complete the secrets to access twitter's API on your behalf and, possibly, modify days_to_keep
# - delete the few junk characters at the beginning of tweet.js, until the first '[' (it crashed my json parser)
# - review the script !!!! It has not been thoroughly tested, it may have some unexpected behaviors...
# - run this script
# - forget this script, you can now use Mathew's script for your future deletions
# License : Unlicense
import tweepy
import json
from datetime import datetime, timedelta, timezone
import os
from os import path
consumer_key = ''
consumer_secret = ''
access_token = ''
access_token_secret = ''
days_to_keep = 365
auth = tweepy.OAuthHandler(consumer_key, consumer_secret)
auth.set_access_token(access_token, access_token_secret)
api = tweepy.API(auth)
cutoff_date = - timedelta(days=days_to_keep)
data_dir = path.join(os.getcwd(), 'data', 'js', 'tweets')
tweets = []
for filename in os.listdir(data_dir):
with open(path.join(data_dir, filename), 'r', encoding='UTF-8') as fp:
js_file =
contents = json.loads(js_file[js_file.find('\n') + 1:])
for tweet in tweets:
d = datetime.strptime(tweet['created_at'], "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S %z")
if d < cutoff_date:
print(tweet['created_at'] + " " + tweet['id_str'])
print("failed to delete " + tweet['id_str'])

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@UjCbFwtBayFM UjCbFwtBayFM commented Aug 5, 2019

What would be the required changes to have the script delete everything before a set date based on the current year (and only the year) ? Eg. keep only the current and previous year, delete everything older.


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@WarriorBride79 WarriorBride79 commented Aug 15, 2019

I'm running into an issue with converting the .js file into json, I think, and I'm getting errors regarding the json part of the code. I will keep looking into this issue, but wondered if you had any ideas on what the issue may be.

line 52, in
contents = json.loads(js_file[js_file.find('\n') + 1:])
File "C:\Python3.7\lib\", line 348, in loads
return _default_decoder.decode(s)
File "C:\Python3.7\lib\json\", line 337, in decode
obj, end = self.raw_decode(s, idx=_w(s, 0).end())
File "C:\Python3.7\lib\json\", line 355, in raw_decode
raise JSONDecodeError("Expecting value", s, err.value) from None
json.decoder.JSONDecodeError: Expecting value: line 2 column 1 (char 1)


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@marrakchino marrakchino commented Jan 22, 2020


Thanks for the awesome work.
I stumbled upon many small bugs (among other things related to datetime and json parsing), so I forked the script to a new gist that works.
If anyone is interested :


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