Twitter deletes historical hashtag information and that’s bad ..

I did not know this happened. .. We had a hashtag called #openmobile for the London Open Mobile summit .. which had a fantastic participation and many(including me) commented on this twitter feed ading a lot of value ..

It was a repository of great information, insights and links ..

Now it’s gone ..

Apparently, twitter DELETES hashtag information after some time

This is VERY short-sighted ..

Its now no longer a DATABASE

Google reader for me is a database .. all my ‘starred’ links which I collect over time

I don’t even mind paying for this services .. but it’s bizarre that we have LOST this information ..

Truly sad .. Thanks to @Prof Jeff Sonstein for clarifying this question for me ..

How do we lobby twitter? Else people will stop twittering from conferences ..


  1. Matt Robinson says:

    For what it’s worth, it’s possible that the data isn’t deleted, and what you’ve experienced is either a limit of their search API, or just a plain old bug. For example, if you use Twitter’s advanced search to look for “stephenfry until:2009-06-07″ you get 0 results, too. Unthinkable! ;)
    It is a shame, but Twitter never claimed to be a database, and simply treating it like one won’t make it so. There’s a huge difference between a search index and a database, and at the scale that Twitter runs at, it’s likely that you can’t currently maintain a full search index for the price that people are willing to pay (i.e., next to nothing). This will no doubt change, thanks to the inexorable forward march of progress, but until then, the old advice sticks: if it’s important to you, make a copy!

  2. Fabrice says:

    You can try using – I don’t know if it picks up everything though

  3. Matt is correct. Twitter does not “delete” information. All of the tweets, along with the hashtag, are still there.
    The problem is that you can no longer search for them.
    The Twitter Search API methods, which actually use, are limited. You can only pull the last 1,500 tweets for a given keyword, and you can only look back about 7 days. You can’t query something from 3 months ago. The “look back period” is actually defined in the API documentation as being dynamic around a target of 1.5 weeks. I’ve found that, in most cases, it’s between 8 and 10 days.
    Twitter is, however, a database. All of the tweets are stored in a database. The reason for the API limits is performance. The entire service would have to be restructured if you wanted to be able to run more complex queries. It’s possible you could email them and have them do it for you, but if they let everyone query for whatever they wanted with an indefinite timeframe, the database would explode and cause a black hole in the center of San Francisco.
    I hope that clarifies things for you.

  4. sachendra says:

    this is absolutely shocking. I had stopped using and was using twitter as a bookmarking tool as well because of the ease of use …. the articles searchable via + #hashtag
    Thanks for pointing it out’ i’ll go back to

  5. Tom Williams says:

    I just encountered the same thing. Most of the #eduweb tweets are now gone and it hasn’t even been a month since the conference. I was trying to pull stats for an article…oh well. You get what you pay for. In this case I paid $0.00 for twitter and I am now getting 0 tweets.
    Bring back the paid model.