Twitter ‘Pauses’ Massive Account Cull After Outcry

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User backlash prompts Twitter to announce pause in its plans to delete millions of inactive accounts

Twitter has announced it will “pause” its plans to remove millions of inactive accounts following a user backlash against the move.

The micro-blogging platform had announced on Monday 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 would begin deleting accounts that have been inactive for more than six months.

Paused cull

Inactive accounts that could be culled include those of people who have died, and the number of accounts to culled was expected to be in the millions.

But now Twitter has said it will “pause” plans to disable inactive accounts following user backlash, and would not remove accounts until it had a process for “memorialising” dead users on the network – like Facebook and others have.

Twitter announced the pause in a series of tweets on the matter.

“We’ve heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased,” Twitter tweeted. “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.”

It said that its plans to cull accounts would have only applied to the EU, and that it has always had an inactive account policy, but it hasn’t enforced it consistently. It was starting it said with inactive EU accounts partly because of GDPR.

“Beyond complying with GDPR, we may broaden the enforcement of our inactivity policy in the future to comply with other regulations around the world and to ensure the integrity of the service,” said Twitter. “We will communicate with all of you if we do.”

“We apologise for the confusion and concerns we caused and will keep you posted,” it concluded.

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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