People are dragging Twitter's plan to delete inactive accounts to free up usernames
27 November 2019, 12:10 | Updated: 27 November 2019, 13:49
Twitter users are worried that the inactive accounts of people that have passed away will be deleted.
Twitter has just announced plans to remove inactive accounts to free up usernames. So, if you haven't signed into your account for more than six months, you have until 11 December to do it. Inactive users will receive an email warning them that they need to sign in if they would like to keep using the social media platform.
Don't worry, if you have a less active second Twitter account you should be able to keep it. You don't actually have to tweet anything, you just have to log in and follow Twitter's instructions. However, don't be surprised if the username you want seems to be inactive. The user is probably still signing in – sorry.
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"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 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."
The account removal process will take months, and there's no word yet on when the old usernames will be available. And if you're thinking of changing your Twitter username to simply "@J" think again, usernames with under five characters can no longer be registered on Twitter.
Alas, news of the Twitter clean up has been met with some criticism. There are many accounts that serve as a memorial for people that have passed away.
Twitter users are worried that it will mean they'll have nothing to remember their loved ones by.
Hi! This is a weird, shitty thing. This is Harris's sister, Stephanie. Twitter is going to start deleting inactive accounts in December, and it would be a goddamn tragedy if this account got sucked into oblivion. So I'm tweeting to ensure that doesn't happen. Signing off now.— Harris Wittels (@twittels) November 27, 2019
Hi @Twitter, please consider the possibility of memorialising accounts. I often refer back to my late partners tweets as a reminder of Dean’s thoughts & feelings & the memories we’ve shared. Don’t remove accounts before sorting this, please. https://t.co/qd6TYW9Ode— Adam (@adamadzp) November 26, 2019
hi @Twitter @TwitterSupport, according to the news it's said that you'll remove innactive accounts from the platform soon. there's a verified account (@realjonghyun90) of popular and loved kpop singer who passed away in 2017, where this account is the safe place and comfort for -— ❄️ (@winterjonghyun) November 27, 2019
please @Twitter don't remove the accounts that are inactive due to the owners passing away. there are precious memories there that we would like to remember and that give us comfort each day. please look into this with a heart of empathy and compassion, thank you https://t.co/Nq5EPFuxfr— dior 🍑 (@petitwol) November 26, 2019
hello @Twitter and @TwitterSupport my friend passed away three years ago, and instead of taking his profile down, here’s what facebook did, please instead of taking @realjonghyun90’s account down consider doing something similar for us who cherish him still #트위터계정_폐쇄반대 pic.twitter.com/K3QLdCdM0A— kibums septum (@minikibu) November 27, 2019
Oh, nooo! My sister who passed away’s account will forever be deleted. I always visit her twitter account on my darkest or glorious days, to keep in touch.— Fer (@lfer95) November 26, 2019
Will Twitter memorialise the inactive accounts of the deceased?
At present, Facebook allows for accounts to be memorialised when the person passes away. Photos and posts the person shared when alive stay on Facebook and are visible to the audience it was shared with. It's a great way of remembering loved ones when they're gone.
However, Twitter doesn't have a memorialisation plan in place for the accounts of the deceased. A Twitter spokesman said: "We do not currently have a way to memorialize someone’s Twitter account once they have passed on, but the team is thinking about ways to do this."