Twitter is planning to delete 1.5 billion inactive accounts in order to make usernames or handles available again on the platform, according to a tweet from owner Elon Musk. The deleted accounts will reportedly be those that have been inactive for years and have no tweets associated with them. Musk said the move will free up the "name space" on the platform.
Twitter will soon start freeing the name space of 1.5 billion accounts— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2022
Elon Musk has previously pledged to remove inactive accounts from Twitter, announcing in November that accounts that had been inactive for 15 years would be deleted. It is currently unclear how long an account must be inactive before it is flagged for deletion. Musk had also suggested that accounts that had been dormant for over a year might also be targeted.
Musk, in a separate tweet, also said that Twitter is developing a process that will inform users if their tweets have been suppressed through a practice known as "shadow banning." Users will be able to appeal the ban if they are notified that their tweets have been suppressed. He also mentioned that Twitter is working on a software update that will show users their true account status.
While on the subject of shadow banning, Elon Musk released the second iteration of the "Twitter Files," in which he made new allegations against the former CEO of Twitter and other members of the company.
The "Twitter Files 2" reveal that Twitter, under a secret group, made controversial decisions without informing then-CEO Jack Dorsey, including shadow banning high-profile users. According to Bari Weiss, Founder and Editor of The Free Press, the secret group included the Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust (Vijaya Gadde), the Global Head of Trust & Safety (Yoel Roth), and subsequent CEOs Jack Dorsey and Parag Agrawal. Twitter had previously denied engaging in this practice.
According to a report from Reuters, Twitter also plans to roll out new controls for advertisers as early as next week. These controls will allow companies to prevent their ads from appearing above or below tweets that contain certain keywords.
Twitter is implementing new controls for advertisers as part of its effort to improve the transparency and accountability of its platform. This follows reports from civil rights groups that hate speech has risen on the platform since it was acquired by Elon Musk in October.
The new controls will allow companies to prevent their ads from appearing next to tweets that contain certain keywords. The move is intended to reassure and attract back advertisers who have pulled their ads from the platform.