For Twitter, follow the steps listed on its site to download a copy of your account data. You could then take actions like deleting sensitive information, such as direct messages. Bear in mind that if you delete a direct message, it will disappear only on your end; the other people in the conversation also need to delete it. Once all parties involved have deleted the conversation, Twitter is expected to purge it from its servers within about 10 days, according to a person familiar with the product, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution. Mr. Musk did not respond to a request for comment on whether he would continue that policy.
Twitter, which laid off its public relations team, did not respond to a request for comment.
Your Twitter timeline is simpler to manage. Tools like Semiphemeral automate the process of purging all your tweets from a specific period, such as those that are older than 30 days.
Whatever you do, though, resist deactivating your Twitter account, several security experts said. In the past, Twitter gave public figures a blue check mark once they had shown the company proof of their identities. But the new system allows anyone to pay $8 a month to get a check mark, making impersonation easier.
Influential people like politicians and celebrities are most likely to be impersonated, but this could also be harmful for anyone who uses Twitter to follow friends and family members. Imagine a scenario in which an impostor creates an account with your name and persuades a relative to wire you some money in an emergency, said Casey Ellis, the chief technology officer of the security firm Bugcrowd. This is more likely to be a problem if you have deleted your real account.
“It’s a cheap attack that could affect anyone,” Mr. Ellis said.
Another part of an exit strategy should be a plan to bring your followers along. You can advertise where else you reside on social media on your Twitter bio, for example, or even write a post about it.
Anil Dash, a tech entrepreneur, listed his Mastodon username on his Twitter profile and said he had used a web tool, Fedifinder, to search for his Twitter contacts on Mastodon. He now has about 11,300 Mastodon followers, a small chunk of his half a million followers on Twitter.
Spread Your Bets
Another way to not be too invested in one site like Twitter is to have an active presence on multiple platforms.