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Twitter puts breaks on plan to remove inactive accounts

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

Earlier this week, Twitter announced that it plans on cleaning up the platform by removing inactive accounts. The social media giant said it would send out warning emails to the owners of inactive accounts – login by the 11 December 2019 deadline or risk losing your account and username. This includes any user who hasn’t signed in for more than six months.

Twitter is halting plans to remove inactive accounts.

“As part of our commitment to serve the public conversation, we’re working to clean up inactive accounts to present more accurate, credible information people can trust across Twitter. Part of this effort is encouraging people to actively log-in and use Twitter when they register an account, as stated in our inactive accounts policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Verge.

“We have begun proactive outreach to many accounts who have not logged into Twitter in over six months to inform them that their accounts may be permanently removed due to prolonged inactivity.”

While Twitter’s plan was made up of good intentions, it was met with a wave of confusion and dismay by users who were quick to point out that the platform doesn’t offer a memorialise function to preserve the accounts of people who’ve died. And if the platform went ahead with its plan, users would soon no longer have access to the old accounts of friends, family or celebrities that have passed on.

Twitter was quick to recognise this issue and since tweeted, “We’ve heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased. This was a miss on our part. We will not be removing any inactive accounts until we create a new way for people to memorize accounts”.

There has been no word on exactly when this function will be available or how it will work but it’s safe to say that inactive accounts will be available for a while longer. And even when Twitter begins to clean up inactive accounts, it’ll first begin in the EU – give the GDPR’s regulations.

“We may broaden the enforcement of our inactivity policy in the future to comply with other regulations around the world and to ensure the integrity of the service,” says Twitter. “We will communicate with all of you if we do. We apologize for the confusion and concerns we caused and will keep you posted.”

Edited by Jenna Delport

Follow Jenna Delport on Twitter

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