Anyone can create virtually unlimited number of accounts on social media. This could be either their official accounts, parody accounts or new official accounts if they are unable to login to their old account.
This is a problem for social networks. They usually report metrics like daily active users or monthly active users which are important metrics that they use to attract advertisers. This is why they usually want to get rid of inactive accounts and retain active ones.
Twitter seems to be doing just that and they are coming for inactive accounts. According to The Verge, Twitter is sending out emails to owners of inactive accounts were they are giving them up to December 11th to sign in or the account will be history.
“As part of our commitment to serving the public conversation we’re working to clean up inactive accounts to present more accurate, credible information people ca 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.
Twitter is reaching out to Twitter accounts that haven’t logged in in over 6 months and informing them that their accounts may be permanently removed due to prolonged inactivity.
Twitter also said that the account removal process will happen over many months. The company also didn’t specify when the recouped usernames would be made available to the public.
Well if you want to keep hold of that account that you’ve been keeping for yourself, be sure to login soon or say bye bye to it.
Alot of users were excited about finally getting their favourite twitter handles but other users are now concerned about what would happen to the Twitter accounts of their dead loved ones.
Archiving of both the public record and of personal material is a huge under-discussed issue – this looks like being a test of to what extent Twitter can think through its obligations in regards of both it’s users and the record https://t.co/hN6pYdGoXG
— emily bell (@emilybell) November 27, 2019
thinking about all the twitter accounts currently existing as a monument and wondering about our digital deaths, at scale.
humans as bytes. deleted.
i, for one, hope my memory idles on irc in perpetuity.https://t.co/H6BdWPoLKd
— gk (@illiteralworst) November 27, 2019
Also, another issue raised was what would happen to historically relevant accounts.
Not just dead loved ones but also historically relevant accounts are on the chopping block.
For example, @aaronsw is currently facing deletion.
Twitter has seemingly made no considerations here and is acting in a rapid zealous fashion. With not much to be observably gained?
— James Fuller (@Jimminy) November 27, 2019
Other people were even offering solutions to this dilemma.
Good solution could be for @twitter to create archived accounts option for such accounts. They would lose their handles—obviously they don't need them—but still could be accessible for those who what to get access to the content.
— Michael Babich (@MichaelBabich) November 27, 2019
Or do what Facebook does and offer a memorialization feature. /cc @kayvz https://t.co/iuXaFcRvi3
— Chris Messina (@chrismessina) November 27, 2019
— drew olanoff (@yoda) November 27, 2019
We’ll keep you posted with new updates on this story.