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Tech Talk: Twitter halts plans to delete inactive accounts following backlash

Twitter has said it will “pause” plans to disable inactive accounts following user backlash, a day after announcing plans for a huge removal of such accounts.


The social network said it now would not remove accounts until it had a process for “memorialising” dead users on the network.

It admitted not having a policy in place was a “miss on our part”. The firm said it was taking action on inactive accounts due to regulatory concerns.

It said once it had a full process in place, account deactivations would occur in the EU first. This was in order, Twitter said, to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), reported BBC.

“We apologise for the confusion and will keep you all posted,” the company said in a series of tweets posted on Wednesday.

On Monday Twitter had begun contacting users who hadn’t logged in in the past six months, warning them that they would have their accounts deleted unless they signed in and agreed to the firm’s latest privacy policy, as reported by The Sauce.

After the reports that the platform would be deleting inactive accounts, the company admitted it had not considered the issue of the potential upset that would be caused by the removal of accounts belonging to users who had died.

Other networks, such as Facebook, offer a process called “memorialisation”, whereby verified family members or other loved ones can request a deceased user’s account is kept on the network, but frozen in time. Interactions with the account are limited in order to help prevent trolling and other abuse.

Twitter said it would create such a tool.

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