Twitter is in a sink-or-swim situation, with employee mistreatment bordering on outright labor violations causing the exodus of thousands, either via layoff or resignation. The future of the company doesn’t look like much of anything. Twitter’s offices are closed until Nov. 21, but plenty of folks aren’t all that encouraged about the platform actually making it to that date—myself included. Hopefully, between now and then, that gives Twitter users enough time to archive their data.
The Washington Post has a fairly helpful explainer on that front: Simply head to Twitter, sign in, then go to the Settings tab. From there, a menu should appear with “Your Account” as one of the options. Tap or click that option, then use the secondary menu option of “Download an Archive of Your Data” to request an archive. This includes account information, history, activity, and even interests and ads. That data might end up being a nice walk down memory lane as you view your past tweets and messages. And it might be helpful to stay in contact with the connections you’ve made on Twitter.
An informal survey of some of my Twitter friends indicated that the lag time on this request, which could take 24 hours or more, appears to be getting much longer as Twitter continues its implosion, so you might want to act fast. Experts believe there are a few ways Twitter could shut down, though it likely won’t be a matter of the social media company suddenly disappearing. Even if new owner Elon Musk declared Twitter bankrupt, it would probably take a bit for Twitter to wind down its services.
There are fears, of course, of hacking and cybersecurity issues. This also makes it a good time to employ safer security measures on your own Twitter accounts, such as activating two-factor authentication and changing your password—be sure to choose something unique and not previously used by you or that is more difficult to guess. That can be accomplished through a password generator. Keeping track of that password can also be made easier through a password manager like LastPass or 1Password.
As of this writing, Musk has asked his followers what the company should do next and also tweeted something incredibly cryptic that likely is about the latest company he heads up.
In addition to (poorly) running Twitter, Musk also heads up SpaceX and Tesla. If you want a fun read about how Musk is a terrible businessman and only lucked into his riches, check out Charlie Wurzel’s recent piece for The Atlantic, simply titled “Elon Musk is Bad at This.”
Musk could effectively ruin Twitter forever, but he can’t take away the actual meaningful work it's done as a platform for solidarity, information, activism, friendship, romance, and even career boosters. I know I’ve gotten quite a few freelance gigs and even jobs through Twitter connections or tweets that happened to catch my eye. Feel free to share your favorite memories of Twitter or, heck, even one of your favorite tweets. Here’s one of mine: