Twitter Readies Cull Of Inactive Accounts

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Inactive Twitter users have to log in to their account and agree to updated privacy policies before 11 December to avoid the chop

Twitter has set a deadline of 11 December for inactive users to log into their Twitter accounts and agree to the updated privacy policies.

The micro-blogging platforms warned that after that date, it will begin deleting accounts that have been inactive for more than six months.

Inactive accounts that could be culled include those of people who have died. Facebook and other social networking firms have specific procedures in place for those trying to gain control of family member accounts after they have died.

Twitter cull

It is the first time that Twitter has removed inactive accounts on such a large scale, the BBC reported.

It quoted Twitter as saying that the culling was needed because users who do not log-in were unable to agree to its updated privacy policies.

A spokeswoman also told the BBC it would improve credibility by removing dormant accounts from people’s follower counts. It is reported that the first tranche of deleted accounts will involve those people registered outside of the US.

In order not to be considered inactive, Twitter users need to log in to their account at least once in the past six months.

But Twitter may in future become stricter about using its service, as the firm was quoted by the BBC as saying that in the future it would also look at accounts where people have logged in but don’t “do anything” on the platform.

Apparently, the spokeswoman would not elaborate, other to say that the firm uses many signals to determine genuine human users – not just whether they interact with, or post, tweets.

Inactive Twitter users will be emailed about the decision to delete their account unless they log in before 11 December. It will send out more notice closures closer to the deadline.

Millions affected?

There is no word on the number of accounts expected to be closed down, but the BBC said it is expected to be in the many millions.

“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,” the firm reportedly said about the upcoming account removals.

“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,” it added.

This month Twitter began banning all political advertising worldwide, because CEO Jack Dorsey said that “political message reach should be earned, not bought.”

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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