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Twitter rolls back decision to delete inactive accounts

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After a backlash from its users, Twitter has decided not to remove inactive accounts until it finds a way to memoralise accounts of the deceased.

The micro-blogging platform on November 26 announced to permanently delete inactive accounts from December 11 that have not been used for more than six months. The action was to impact accounts belonging to the deceased.

“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 said late Thursday.

“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),” it added.

The company had said that as part of its commitment to serve the public conversation, it is working to clean up inactive accounts to present more accurate, credible information people can trust across the platform.

In a fresh post, it said: “Beyond complying with GDPR, we may broaden the enforcement of our inactivity policy in the future to comply with other regulations around the world and to ensure the integrity of the service. We will communicate with all of you if we do”

“We apologize for the confusion and concerns we caused and will keep you posted”.

Facebook lets dead users’ friends and family report them as deceased and set up a special page for sharing memories about that person. Twitter currently does not have a way to memorialize someone’s account once they have passed on, but the team is thinking about ways to do this. Any account that hasn’t signed in for more than six months will receive the Twitter alert before the micro-blogging platform takes the action.

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