When/ if an instance is ever deleted, what happens to all of the users and their toots etc?

@TheRealMe Yeah, I mean it must suck if your account and all your toots just vanished.

@Ian_Fry I deleted the instance with user codydh (so Wasn't widely followed or anything but long enough to be federated, so you can investigate traces of that if you want.

@codydh Ah ok. So it still remains (almost like a ghost copy) but no way to go in and edit or manage the account again.

@Ian_Fry Right, to some extent. Someone may be able to give a more in-depth explanation, but an instance can tell other instances a toot is deleted, which generally seems to be respected (but doesn't have to be). But it will take a long time (if ever) that the user totally disappears from being queried, and I think those federated toots are just going to be there "forever."

@codydh Yeah, I guess that's the only downfall of not having a central server. It would be a shame to lose all of your toots and connections.

@Ian_Fry Yep. I find thinking about these things like you would email servers is a good starting point. You can't delete things in other people's emails, you can't remove yourself from their address books, etc.

@Ian_Fry @codydh Mmmm! Even after an instance is deleted, (incomplete) copies of the users' details and toots will be floating around on the the other instances where people followed them. Calling them ghosts is a nice metaphor!

@Ian_Fry I set it private before I deleted, deleted the toots, and unfollowed everyone. It looks like 9 posts still show up here at, the account still shows up, and still shows 5 followers.

@Ian_Fry The toots that were federated to other servers will continue to exist on those other servers.

It's like falling in a black hole. It's lost for the rest of the Universe.
Sad but true.

@Ian_Fry Nothing, they're gone. Obviously it could be exported with a little TLC. Depends on admin though.

@david It would be nice to have an option to export your toots.

I like the fact we can export who we follow.

Lost. So you have the option to export your data and save it...

@CarlosHS You can export who you follow, but as it stands no option to export your toots.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct! Thank you. is maintained by Sujitech, LLC.