Twitter will soon begin deleting old accounts
Anyone who has ever made a twitter account knows how difficult it can be to create a username, or “handle” as the service calls it, that matches the user’s wishes. Some names can be taken up for years at a time, even if the user is inactive for very long periods of time. BBC first reported that Twitter will perform a clean-up of inactive users, and subsequently mitigate the locked-up-handle situation.
Twitter confirmed this in an email to TechCrunch:
“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. 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. 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.”
Despite the fact that Twitter has a policy regarding accounts deemed to be inactive, the company has done very little to actually do anything about prolonged account inactivity. The policy advocates for users to log in and/or tweet at least once within a period of half a year, but no actual penalty has been enacted for users who fail to do so. The new effort, as stated in the e-mail will proactively remove inactive users by first giving them a warning and then deleting the accounts if they fail to respond.
As Twitter clarified, the move’s actual intention is to “present more accurate, credible information,” rather than freeing up handles. This signals that the process will likely take some time, perhaps even several months.