A reminder of why I think deleting old posts on social media is important: "I don’t think they have much value going back months and years. I never read through years of tweeting history! This only benefits your enemies, never your friends."

@kensanata H'mmm... It's a record which future historians will mine. I've deliberately chosen to leave up some blog posts that I no longer agree with; it's part of 'one standard of truth'.

I did say these things in the past. Although I may no longer support them, I don't think it's ethical to hide the fact that I did once say them.

@kensanata I'm generally a fan of purging minutiae.

Considered posts, perhaps not so much.

@kensanata I agree with you about the power dynamics at play in social media, and the value in deleting.

But as a counter-argument consider this thread (birdsite warning), which has a pretty good description of how search can be useful to you in your life.

I'm wary of blanket statements about what should be remembered & forgotten ... they are complicated, and a big part of what make us who we are.

Also, if you haven't run across it yet I think you will enjoy this book:

@kensanata I'm liking the idea of expiring toots. Nobody needs to know I was bitching about the weather 2 years ago.

@kensanata You make a compelling argument, but that mindset is so alien to me. I often enjoy perusing my older social media posts to see what was going on in my life at the time.

Perhaps it benefits my enemies, but it certainly benefits me as well.

@kensanata It seems very appropriate that I'm commenting on this thread halfway through your normal 8-week expiry time. :-)

Will this post stay up longer?

As late as yesterday, somebody linked to a 9 months old conversation that Ideas mentally referring to. I have on multiple occasions gone back to 2008-2010 to gauge and remind myself of conversations we had back then. People are talking about documenting Fediverse history. I have a year-old thread that I keep returning to to add little things and which will one day become the foundation of an HPR episode.

These things are all counter to what you are proposing.

It's possible that people overvalue permanence and should embrace the ephemeral, but at least to me, this is part of how we talk now. I mourn the (practical) loss of the archives of, *,,, and others.

@kensanata That wiki is so clean. And one-click pdf download. What are you running it on, and do you recommend it. (In your own time: enjoy Scotland!)

@kensanata Hm I've never thought of it that way before, but that's totally true. I mean someone could be archiving everything, anyway, but it's true that it doesn't really cause anyone any problems to delete your old posts.

@kensanata I tended to share your opinion about deletion or an exspiration date for posts. I decided against it. For one, it's a diary of my thoughts, musings, sometimes work on ideas to shape, often w/ the hashtag #talkingtomyselflettingyoulisten . Second, when strolling throug this online archive I'm often surprised how I thought, when & what. It thus keeps me reminded about my complexity, beyond my current fixations. And third, I don't share your premiss in your blog you mentioned:


«If the bad guys take over, all your secrets are revealed, basically. Data is a liability because we cannot predict the future. »

The bad guys *built*, now *maintain* the web. There may still be options to hide but I don't think one should care too much about it, esp. when at the same time one keeps holding credit cards & electronic health insurance cards (I use the former & manage to get around the second, for obvious hacking reasons).


@kensanata One idea I had to extend #Mastodon or other Fediverse instances was a setting where users could set it to automatically remove posts older than X weeks old. Still mulling that one as a good idea or not.

@kensanata "In that old thread on Mastodon, some people claimed that I was making it easy for evidence to disappear, for nazis to hide, for white supremacists to hide. But I disagree. If the solution to old Nazis hiding somewhere is setting up the Stasi, I’m not sure we’re getting the best deal that we could."


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