In the latest reminder that things you upload to the various big social media services aren’t yours and can’t be relied on to stay there forever, it seems like Twitter has removed all the photos and some of the links that folk posted on it between 2011-2014.

No-one seems to know if it’s deliberate or not,. The email address the press might contact to find out is still responding with the poo emoji.

The forthcoming change to prevent you from blocking users is however all-too-deliberate, which is an absolutely wild thing to do imo given some of the content I understand remains on there.

Somehow deleting 4 years of potentially treasured photos still seems on average less bad to me than a previous Twitter shenanigan that resulted in posts that you would justifiably assumed were deleted- because you personally deleted them a long time ago so why would they even still exist anywhere? - magically re-appeared once more. That one was probably down to incompetence rather than malice. But whatever cause it’s not hard to imagine all sorts of potential bad consequences, embarrassing, awkward or devastating arising, from that.

Whilst Twitter is the current exemplar of these kind of bad practices, seemingly largely because of who runs now runs it, there’s little reason to believe that the potential risks are all that much reduced with its competitors either. The sad fact that if you don’t own the means of computation then you can’t rely on it - admittedly to vastly varying extents - is highlighted here once again.

At the very least, it’s a reminder to re-learn the old lessons of backing up everything we care about and being super careful to never share anything there’s a chance we might not want to be publicly available in the future. In the real world, both are of course easier said than done.