ephemetoot

A command line tool to delete your old toots: 🥳 ==> 🧼 ==> 😇

View on GitHub

Setup & Installation

Install Python 3 and pip

You need to install Python 3 to use ephemetoot. Python 2 is now end-of-life, however it continued to be installed as the default Python on MacOS and many Linux distributions until very recently, so you should check.

These instructions use the command pip - depending on your setup you may need to use pip3 instead.

Install ephemetoot from pypi

pip install ephemetoot

If you do not have permission to install python modules, you may need to use the --user flag. Generally this is not advisable, since you will need to run ephemetoot with the same user since it will only be installed for that user and not globally:

pip install ephemetoot --user

Obtain an access token

Now you’ve installed ephemetoot, in order to actually use it you will need an application “access token” from each user. Log in to your Mastodon account using a web browser:

  1. Click the settings cog
  2. Click on Development
  3. Click NEW APPLICATION
  4. Enter an application name (e.g. ‘ephemetoot’)
  5. The following ‘scopes’ are required:
    • read:accounts
    • read:statuses
    • write:conversations
    • write:statuses
  6. Click SUBMIT
  7. Click on the name of the new app, which should be a link
  8. Copy the Your access token string - you will need this for your configuration file (see below)

NOTE: Anyone who has your access token and the domain name of your Mastodon server will be able to:

Do not share your access token with anyone you do not 100% trust!!!.

Configuration file

Configuration for each user is set up in the config.yaml file. This uses yaml syntax and can be updated at any time without having to reload ephemetoot.

You can create a config file by hand, but the easiest way to do it is with the --init flag:

ephemetoot --init

This will ask you to fill in information for each part of the file:

setting description
access_token required - The alphanumeric access token string from the app you created in Mastodon
username required - Your username without the ‘@’ or server domain. e.g. hugh
base_url required - The base url of your Mastodon server, without the ‘https://’. e.g. ausglam.space
days_to_keep Number of days to keep toots e.g. 30. If not value is provided the default number is 365
keep_pinned Either true or false - if true, any pinned toots will be kept regardless of age
toots_to_keep A list of toot ids indicating toots to be kept regardless of other settings. The ID of a toot is the last part of its individual URL. e.g. for https://ausglam.space/@hugh/101294246770105799 the id is 101294246770105799
hashtags_to_keep A list of hashtags, where any toots with any of these hashtags will be kept regardless of age. Do not include the ‘#’ symbol. Do remember the rules for hashtags
visibility_to_keep Toots with any of the visibility settings in this list will be kept regardless of age. Options are: public, unlisted, private, direct.
archive A string representing the filepath to your toot archive. If this is provided, for every toot checked, the full toot is archived into individual files named by the toot’s id in this writeable directory. Note that the default is for all toots to be archived, not just those that are being deleted. It is generally best to use an absolute file path - relative paths will not work if you call ephemetoot from another directory.

All values other than access_token, username and base_url are optional, however if you include toots_to_keep, hashtags_to_keep, or visibility_to_keep you must make each a list, even if it is empty:

toots_to_keep: # this is not a list, it will throw an error
hashtags_to_keep: 
  - # this empty list is ok
visibility_to_keep: [ ] # this empty list is also ok

As of version 2, you can use a single ephemetoot installation to delete toots from multiple accounts. If you want to use ephemetoot for multiple accounts, separate the config for each user with a single dash (-), and add the additional details, as shown in the example file.