Twitter delays deleting inactive accounts to decide how to respect dead users

Twitter delays deleting inactive accounts to decide how to respect dead users
Credit: Twitter

Yesterday, news broke that Twitter would begin to get rid of accounts that hadn’t been used in over six months, starting on December 11. While it makes some sense to purge Twitter of perfectly good usernames that are going unused, some users wondered what would happen with the accounts of the deceased.

At the time, Twitter didn’t have an answer beyond the team is “thinking about ways to do this.” Now the company is clarifying its account removal policy, while also appearing to delay the move altogether. It sent out a tweetstorm today clarifying the policy.

Firstly, the company clarified that the move only affects EU accounts for now. The company says it has “always had an inactive account policy” but is only starting to enforce consistently now to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The company then continued to explain it will delay the account purge until it figures out how to deal with those owned by dead people.

It does not say when it plans to have a way to memorialize accounts available, but a delay was probably a good move. Though initially done to comply with GDPR, the company may expand the account removal policy to other regions.

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