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How Much Data Does Twitter Have On You?

What does the Bird know?

Brief History of Twitter

Twitter’s inception occurred in 2006, by Jack Dorsey and a handful of other members; Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass. The idea was originally supposed to be based on SMS messages as the primary means of communication, instead of internet based as we know of it today. Twitter wasn’t always called Twitter as well, it used to be named Twttr, due to naming trends at the time (Tumblr, Flickr, etc). Shortening up words as shown previously in texting became popular at this time, which saw many tech companies emulating the trend.

How To Obtain Your Twitter Archives

To download your Twitter archive, follow the steps here, which are given by Twitter. Be careful, as there are two types of archives you can download, a comprehensive archive of all your data, which was linked above, which is much more difficult to parse and read. The less comprehensive Archive only contains your Tweets, but Twitter gives you a nice HTML page to easily view your Tweets in a timeline. This less comprehensive Twitter archive can be downloaded by following Twitter’s guide here.

Data in the Comprehensive Twitter Archive

In the comprehensive Twitter archive discussed above, it is clear to see how much data Twitter actively collects and stores on its users. What follows is an overview of data obtained through this comprehensive Twitter archive:  
Phone Number Account Suspension Direct Messages IPs Used to Log In Periscope Account Info
Email Ad Engagements Direct Message Media Liked Tweets Protected History
Username Ad Impressions Profile Media Created Lists Saved Searches
Account ID Date of Birth Direct Message Headers Member Lists Screen Name Change
Creation Date Inputted Age Change of Email Address Subscribed Lists Verification Status
Display Name Ad Inferred Age Facebook Connections Moments
Timezone Blocked Users Followers Muted Accounts/Words
Creation IP Address Connected Applications Following Devices Used

Analysis of the Comprehensive Archive

Twitter-Archive-Parser is a Python script I created to parse out some of these artifacts. For more information on this script, please visit my blog post about it and the GitHub repository.

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