Twitter has several thousand accounts that users have registered and seemingly forgotten about. Now, the social media site has announced that it will be purging those dormant accounts by the 11th of December. Accounts that are inactive for six months or more are likely to be deleted. However, concerns have been raised that accounts of people who have died that are being kept in memoriam by their loved ones may also be lost as part of the purging process.
More Handles Becoming Available
One of the reasons why Twitter is clearing those old accounts out is because they want to free up Twitter handles for users to take advantage of. In response to the claims of the accounts of loved ones who have passed away being deleted, the company says that it is looking into a method of memorializing those accounts. Facebook already has a similar feature implemented for people who have passed on, allowing their friends and family members to have a permanent memory of them online.
Inactive Accounts Also at Risk
While the social media accounts that haven’t had a login in a long time will be deleted, users who merely log in and do nothing may also be at risk. A purge is necessary to free up space on the platform’s user database as well as offer handles that may be taken by other people. However, the deletion of “lurker” accounts may also have a negative impact, as some users utilize Twitter as a means of communicating with their friends, not for tweeting specifically.
Archival of Tweets May be Necessary
Archival scraping is available for accounts whose users have met untimely ends, but the loss of the handle may be a significant emotional blow to their loved ones. Twitter hasn’t revealed how long they will be developing the memorial account system for, or if it will be available by the time the account purge happens. Many users who get some emotional consolation from tagging their departed loved ones on twitter or merely browsing their profile may lose that after the 11th of December.