On Tuesday, Twitter announced its plan to remove accounts that have been inactive for more than six months. The removal was set to occur on December 11, but the company today had a change of heart after acknowledging the impact that move may have on the accounts of dead users.
In a series of tweets, the micro-blogging service seeks to address concerns over its latest effort to encourage users to "actively log-in and use Twitter when they register an account". First, the company will see to it that it can memorialize the accounts owned by deceased individuals before it proceeds with deleting inactive accounts.
We’ve heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased. 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.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 27, 2019
For now, Twitter says it is implementing its inactive account policy only in Europe. Over the long term, the policy will expand to other countries as well.
This impacts accounts in the EU only, for now. We’ve always had an inactive account policy but we haven’t enforced it consistently. We’re starting with the EU in part due to local privacy regulations (eg, GDPR).— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 27, 2019
It should be noted that that piece of information was missing in the initial announcement. The company says it is starting with Europe in order to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In the future, it also plans to obey privacy rules in other territories and widen the enforcement of its inactive account policy.