On Wednesday, Twitter confirmed that they had changed their policy regarding inactive accounts, which were scheduled to start being deleted starting December 11. But after a public uproar concerning the accounts of the deceased meeting the same fate as other inactive accounts, Twitter has halted the deletion.
According to Twitter’s new policy, anyone who doesn’t log in and tweet at least every six months would have their account permanently removed. Inactivity of a Twitter account is based on logging in and the actions taken after that. The refreshed policy states, “You may not be able to tell whether an account is currently inactive, as not all signs of account activity are publicly visible.”
But a day after confirming the policy and its implementation starting next month, Twitter has taken a step back from the proceedings as they acknowledge the need to memorialise accounts of the deceased and not delete them.
“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 memorialise accounts,” the company tweeted.
The micro-blogging social media platform also confirmed that the new inactivity policy currently only impacts accounts in the EU due to GDPR. The policy will be enforced in other geolocations depending on the local regulations.
Twitter hasn’t yet announced the exact dates when the usernames from the deleted inactive accounts will be available to be used by existing or new users. The company isn’t going to accept any requests for usernames for accounts that might seem inactive.
This policy change doesn’t affect bot or secondary Twitter accounts, as long as they stay active.
We’ve heard your feedback about our effort to delete inactive accounts and want to respond and clarify. Here’s what’s happening:
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 27, 2019
Prayank heads the Editorial at Candid.Technology. When not writing, he loves taking trips on his bikes or chugging beers as Manchester United battle rivals.
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