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Matt Drudge does a Twitter memory wipe

Alternative-media icon Matt Drudge had a pretty lively Twitter presence until Saturday night, when The Blaze noticed he wiped out his entire Twitter history (and evidently cleared out his entire follow list), changed his background to a generic photo of lovebirds preening each other, and left only a single memorial message:

That’s a pretty hefty act of online mind-clearing.  Social media rules of etiquette are still evolving; obviously people can delete their posts and Tweets, or break all their social links, whenever they please, but it seems strange to watch someone actually do it, with such merciless efficiency.  (I suppose it’s possible Drudge’s account got hacked, but I haven’t seen any reports to that effect yet.)  

Personally, I don’t think I’d ever wipe my whole history, and I’ve only deleted Tweets a couple of times, because they contained incorrect links to online posts I was attempting to reference (i.e. I screwed up and posted the wrong link into Twitter.)  I deleted them because I thought it would be confusing to leave them lying around, pointing at the wrong Web pages, and I made a point of acknowledging I had deleted them for that reason, after issuing messages with corrected links.  I’ve hit Send a couple of times and then cursed as I noticed a typo, mostly when I was trying to live-tweet breaking events and working in a hurry.  But otherwise, I feel anything I’ve sent is forever out there, for good or ill, and I wouldn’t try to erase any of it.

Every now and then, politicians, celebrities, and media figures perform hasty damage-control deletions of embarrassing Twitter messages.  That never really works, because there are always screen captures of the really juicy stuff floating around online, and it generally strikes me as a cowardly thing to do.  Drudge blew up everything he ever posted, which is different than nuking a single controversial message, and provocative given the size of his following.  It will be interesting to see if any other big Twitter presences decide to follow suit and clear their electronic minds.

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