The company is notifying the affected users they’ll need to log back in by Dec. 11 or lose access. On the plus side, the company is reclaiming the Twitter handles so that active users can grab them up.
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This story originally appeared on PCMag
Twitter is warning inactive users to log back into their accounts or risk losing access. The company is going to embark on an account purge.
On the plus side, the company is reclaiming the Twitter handles so that active users can grab them up. But the main goal with the coming purge is to crack down on misinformation amid the coming 2020 presidential election.
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“As part of our commitment to serve the public conversation, we’re working to clean up inactive accounts to present more accurate, credible information people can trust across Twitter,” the company said in a statement. “Part of this effort is encouraging people to actively log-in and use Twitter when they register an account, as stated in our Inactive Accounts Policy.”
That policy, which has been around since at least 2018, says Twitter can permanently remove an account that hasn’t been logged in for more than 6 months. But in this case, the company has created a clear deadline; affected users will have until Dec. 11 to sign in, according to BBC reporter Dave Lee, who first tweeted about the news.
My bots which tweet regularly haven’t received any emails. Nearly all my inactive accounts have received a notification. pic.twitter.com/dHINSPuPGt
— Terence Eden (@edent) November 26, 2019
So if you’ve stepped away from Twitter, but still want to keep your username, it’s time to fire up the old account. Inactive users simply need to log back in —not necessarily tweet— to remain active.
“We have begun proactive outreach to many accounts who have not logged into Twitter in over six months to inform them that their accounts may be permanently removed due to prolonged inactivity,” the company added.
When Twitter will allow active users to grab up the newly-reclaimed usernames wasn’t mentioned today. A company spokesperson merely said the affected accounts would be removed over the course of many months, and not all at once.
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For user accounts registered to people who have recently passed away, Twitter advises family members to contact the company. However, the current policy will only let the family member deactivate the account, not take it over. “We do not currently have a way to memorialize someone’s Twitter account once they have passed on, but the team is thinking about ways to do this,” the company’s spokesperson said.
In the meantime, the Internet Archive is taking requests to archive select user accounts on Twitter that belonged to the deceased and are now in danger of getting deleted.