Twitter Wanted to Delete Inactive Accounts But Decided Not to

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated July 13, 2021

A couple of days back, Twitter started sending warning messages to users who haven’t accessed their accounts for six months or longer, informing them that they will be kicked out of the platform by December 11, 2019. This decision was made in relation to the social media’s new inactive account policy, which encourages people to actively log in and use Twitter, and not just register accounts and park them. If a user won't log in to their account over a period of six months, their account should be deleted and their username should become available to others.

Twitter has identified special cases of trademark holders and the rights that they have over certain usernames and account names, so it offered a special path for the concerned parties. However, they missed another important part, and that is the accounts of deceased individuals. Apparently, families and friends of people who have passed away expressed their objection to Twitter’s plans, as they are visiting these accounts to find comfort in memories of the past, posts, previous interactions, chat logs, etc. It was like a part of the person who died surviving online somehow, and the people who loved that person found solace and relief by browsing these otherwise inactive accounts.

Twitter apologized for missing that “human factor” side of things and promised not to take any action with inactive accounts before they create a new way for people to memorialize accounts. This means that the accounts of the deceased will be archived before the username is freed. So, the inactive account policy will remain there, but it won’t be enforced yet. The Twitter community was heard, and they are now expressing their gratitude for it. As for those who were hoping to grab one of the usernames that will be freed, they will have to wait for a little while longer now.

No matter the details, Twitter could start by deleting accounts that have no tweets and almost no followers, and there are millions of these on the platform. Being based solely on the log in intervals makes it easier for account holders to set up bots that will help keep their accounts alive. When Twitter begins to delete accounts, they will start with EU-based users, due to the existence of the GDPR data privacy regulations.

Have you logged in on Twitter in the past six months, or are you planning to have your account purged? If you are active there, leave your comments on our twitter handle, otherwise, do it on our Facebook page.

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