Twitter has rolled back plans to delete accounts that have been inactive for six months following a backlash and questions raised over memorials for owners that have died.
According to a new report from Axios, Twitter has said accounts belonging to the deceased will not be removed as part of its “clean-up” of inactive profiles until it figures out a way to memorialize these accounts. The social network started warning users who have been inactive on its platform for more than six months that their account risks being deleted as part of a huge “clean-up.”
Twitter wants to give users the ability to “memorialize” accounts of the deceased, instead of simply removing them for being “inactive”. The issue is quite tricky here, and it’s not exactly clear how Twitter plans to tackle it.
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 memorialize accounts.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 27, 2019
Twitter’s biggest rival, Facebook, allows family and friends of the deceased to memorialize their account so it can still be viewed and messages can be posted on their page. Twitter said the changes will impact accounts in the EU only, for now.
Twitter said that while it has a long-standing policy to delete dormant accounts, up to now it hasn’t enforced it consistently.
But once it has figured a way to memorialize accounts, a more determined effort to clear its platform of inactive accounts will begin, which the company said will enable it “to present more accurate, credible information people can trust across Twitter.”