Twitter pauses plan to remove inactive accounts over concerns it will delete profiles of deceased users

Social media platform says it will first create a way of memorialising accounts 

Chelsea Ritschel
Wednesday 27 November 2019 22:31 GMT
Twitter halts plan to remove inactive accounts (Stock)
Twitter halts plan to remove inactive accounts (Stock)

Twitter has announced it is halting its plan to delete abandoned accounts after users expressed concerns that their dead loved ones’ profiles would be deleted.

On Wednesday, Twitter revealed that all accounts that have been inactive for the last six months would be deleted from the site, which would include those of deceased users.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter does not currently have an option for people to memorialise the accounts of those who have died.

Following the announcement, many people pleaded with the site to keep the accounts open, lest the digital footprints of the deceased be erased.

In response to the feedback, Twitter announced that its original decision, which would only impact accounts in the EU for now, was a “miss” and that it will not be removing any inactive accounts until it creates a way for people to memorialise them.

“We’ve heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased,” the social media platform 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 memorialise accounts.”

In follow-up tweets, the company said it may “broaden the enforcement of our inactivity policy in the future” but will “communicate with all of you if we do”.

Twitter concluded the announcement apologising for the fear it caused.

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

The gesture was met with gratitude on the platform, where people thanked the company for listening to the concerns of its users.

“Thank you so much, this is greatly appreciated,” one person wrote.

Another said: “Thank you for treating this matter with sensitivity and respect. It means a lot to so many.”

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