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Deleting Discord messages

I'm working on putting together a master list of reasons I won't use Discord, so you can hope for a proper centralised explanation to all this drama fairly soon. I've had some interesting conversations today but I'm going to save them for a future post.

Today I actually got up around noon and walked down the university so that I could study in an environment that lets me focus better. It's 20 minutes each way if I walk fast enough. It luckily wasn't raining on the way back, but it was 8 degrees (for all you Americans, that's called "cold"). I swapped with takeaway night so that I could eat while I was down there. I'll cook on Friday instead. I've got a good recipe lined up, though I might need to get ingredients for it, I'll have to check.

Tonight's project has been deleting my Discord DM history, since Discord won't do it for you. Things I've taken into account:

  • Deleting lots of messages in a short time frame puts a suspicion flag on your account.
  • Using selfbots puts a suspicion flag on your account.
  • If my account is deleted, I won't be able to delete my DM history. Deleted accounts retain their snowflake (unique identifier) and all my messages still exist in the ether, ready to be leaked or sold.

So I ended up writing a macro that controls the keyboard and mouse to manually edit all of my own messages in the history of a DM to be the content "". The script is still a little rough, and I'll share it when I'm done. So far I've got it to delete 2500 of my 8800 messages in one specific DM channel, so looking pretty good so far. Once I reach the top I can find out how many it missed. I'm okay with it missing a few here and there as long as there's not enough to reconstruct a whole conversation or learn my typing habits.

For servers, this is easier. I add a bot which deletes all my messages, which bots are allowed to do. I can't do this for public servers, but that's okay since I never really interacted in those, and I'll accept leaving my content behind in those.

Of course, once concern is that whether my edited or deleted messages are really unrecoverable. The Discord trust & safety report page says that they can't deal with deleted messages, so presumably deleted messages aren't preserved. I also couldn't find records of old edits or deleted messages in my data dump, so this is the best I can do to assume that they will really all be gone.

Tomorrow I plan to go down to the university again for more class stuff, and then continue watching the script do its work when I get back. The danger with these keyboard and mouse controllers is that they might somehow minimise the browser window and then go around clicking random spots in other applications, which would be super bad, so I have to keep an eye on it while it works to make sure it doesn't escape or get stuck.

As always, let me know if you have thoughts about how I could do this better.

— Cadence

A seal on a cushion spinning a globe on its nose.
Another seal. They are friends!