Why it matters: There are plenty of Twitter accounts on the platform whose owners, for one reason or another, never use them. But the company will address the issue on December 11 when it starts deleting any accounts that have been inactive for more than six months.
Update: Twitter has backed down from the plan and confirmed it will not be removing any inactive accounts until it creates a new way for people to memorialize accounts of dead users.
The mass deletions will take place over the course of several months, rather than millions of accounts all disappearing on the same day, and the first batch of removals will involve accounts registered outside of the US. It will include users who no longer log-in because they have passed away.
Twitter said the reason behind the move was to “present more accurate, credible information people can trust across Twitter,” which could be a reference to users’ follower counts. The company added that the removal was also because people who don’t log-in can’t agree to its updated privacy policies, and to encourage “people to actively log-in and use Twitter when they register an account, as stated in our inactive accounts policy.”
Users whose accounts will be affected by the deletions are being emailed and advised to log-in and follow the on-screen prompts or risk losing their accounts.
The news will be welcomed by those frustrated at not being able to grab a desired username taken by an inactive account. Deleting the account of a dead person, though, will likely bring controversy. Currently, it only happens when a trusted third party has proved the deceased's identity. However, the company told Engadget that it’s considering ways to memorialize accounts of the dead, which is what Facebook does.