[Update] Twitter Clarifies About Which ‘Inactive’ Accounts Will Be Marked For Deletion From Next Month

Twitter began sending out emails to some account holders about the soon to be implemented action on “inactive” accounts. As expected, several users who may or may not have received the cautionary emails, have strongly reacted against the micro-blogging network. Responding to queries and doubts, Twitter issued a few important clarifications and conditions that the accounts will have to fulfill in order to qualify for deletion.

Twitter has been reminding its subscriber and user base for quite some time about scrubbing the micro-blogging social media platform of inactive or dormant accounts. The company began sending out emails to users reminding them about the impending deletion of “Inactive” accounts. The mails include specific instructions and a strong reminder about maintaining an active presence on Twitter to ensure the account isn’t marked as inactive or dormant. Reacting to the sudden implementation of what Twitter insists is a pre-existent policy, several Twitter users expressed their concerns and doubts. Accordingly, Twitter issued a series of Tweets that attempt to clarify how and why it is about to start deleting inactive Twitter accounts from December 2019.

Twitter Clarifies Why, How, And Which Accounts Will Be Classified As Inactive And Marked For Deletion:

Twitter has started sending out emails notifying users to login back to Twitter before December 1, 2019, if they want to keep the accounts. The mail offers rather simple instructions about the need to have an “active” presence on Twitter, and cautions that inactive accounts can be tagged as such, and marked for deletion. Incidentally, Twitter insists that it has had the policy on paper for a very long time, but never chose to implement it even in its simplest form. The micro-blogging social media giant further claims deleting inactive accounts is just another effort to clean up the spam and inactive accounts.

Following the intense reactions from Twitter users, several of whom are actually active on Twitter, the social media company issued a few Tweets that attempted to clarify how and why the inactive or dormant accounts could be deleted starting from next month.

Twitter claimed it was taking this action following the rising pressure from General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR that came into effect last year. The stringent regulation, which mainly pertains to countries that form the European Union (EU) has a sweeping impact on data protection and privacy for all individual citizens of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA). As expected, Twitter is now restricting the account deletion to EU residents only.

It is not clear if the company will expand the policy to other countries. However, Twitter did send out a Tweet that implied it may “broaden the enforcement of our inactivity policy to comply with other regulations around the world and to ensure the integrity of our services.” This Tweet strongly suggests that it was the GDPR policy that is primarily responsible for the enforcement of the policy. Moreover, the Tweet also hints that unless countries outside the EU and EEA formulate similar policies, Twitter might not start deleting accounts from those regions.

Account Deletion To Free Up Several Usernames That Were Previously Unavailable And Unusable:

One of the most basic requirements for the Twitter account to be marked for deletion is prolonged inactivity. Specifically, any account that hasn’t been used in over six months could be tagged as dormant. Incidentally, a simple login every now and then should protect the Twitter account, even if no new Tweet is sent out.

As expected, such action should free up a lot of Twitter accounts or Twitter Handles which are highly desirable. Twitter mentioned that they will be releasing usernames once their accounts are deleted. This action should cause a frenzy to grab Twitter usernames that remain popular but were dormant and unusable.

Needless to add, Twitter’s actions can have a significant downside to this especially for people who are in hospitals for prolonged periods or might be deceased. Additionally, Twitter users were concerned about Tweets from popular celebrities who have faded away but are still relevant. There are a few famous personalities or celebrities whose Tweets continue to be searched and even used. Twitter has confirmed that they are working on a plan to memorialize accounts of the deceased. However, the company hasn’t indicated how it plans to do so.

[Update] It appears Twitter has paused its plan until it can ensure a way to “Memorialize” accounts of dead users.

Alap Naik Desai
A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.