Twitter has announced that it will pause its plans to remove inactive accounts. The decision comes after the company announced that it would be removing all the accounts that had not been logged into for a while.
The decision from the service to remove all the inactive accounts drew criticism and concerns from some users. The social network said it would not deactivate the accounts until it had set up a process for memorializing dead users. It is unclear when the process will be ready.
Removal of Inactive Accounts Paused
Twitter, which has millions of users, admitted that not having the policy there was a miss on their part. The removal would have likely taken out millions of inactive accounts that had been on the site for years.
It all began on Monday when the service started emailing users who had not logged in in the last six months. The email warned that the accounts would be removed if they did not sign in in time.
The announcement immediately brought criticism and concerns from those who have lost their friends or family members. Several news sites reported about people being concerned since they would lose the posts they often check from their family or friends that have died.
Other Social Networks Do Have the Option
Twitter does not have a process to keep the accounts from those who have died. Other social networks such as Facebook do have a process known as memoralization. The option allows users to request for an account to be kept on the network. The account is frozen in time but it allows users to see it.
Twitter has said that it decided to remove the inactive accounts due to regulatory concerns. The company explained that once the process is ready, it will begin deactivating accounts. The accounts will first be removed in Europe and then it will spread to other areas.
In recent years, research companies have said Twitter has millions of inactive users. A 2014 study found that the service had millions of users who had not logged in for more than a year and accounts that had not made tweets. Tech sites pointed out that the research company did not have access to how many users logged in but did know the users who were making tweets and retweets. In 2018, reports said the service had more than 321 million monthly active users.
Changes In Recent Weeks
The removal of the inactive accounts would have been the second major change for the service in recent weeks. Just a few days ago, the service introduced an option to hide replies on tweets. The feature had been tested for months in a few countries, including Canada.
The change has been questioned by some users since the hidden replies can still be viewed. On top of that, some users criticized the change because it comes with a pop-up that lets the user know that there are hidden replies. Twitter said the pop-up only appears for the first tweet viewed with hidden replies.