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Twitter twaddle

November 27, 2019.

Paying his respects.

© iStock.

Twitter has a problem: new Twitterers are having a hard time finding a username that’s simple and isn’t already taken. To solve this problem and free up hundreds of thousands of names, Twitter decided to purge all inactive accounts, i.e. those whose owners haven’t logged in six months. Unfortunately, this was forgetting the concept of “Web memory”, which is especially important when it comes to deceased persons. Not to mention that recycling usernames leaves the door wide open to all manner of abuse, usurpation and fraud. Not surprisingly, Twitter’s announcement unleashed a wave of protests. At first, the company tried to downplay the decision, saying that it would only affect accounts in Europe and that it was necessary to comply with European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR); however, regulatory experts have been unable to explain how deleting inactive accounts complies with any rules. In the end, Twitter backpedalled and put the plan on ice until it found a better solution. If you would like to archive a loved one’s Twitter account forever, contact Jason Scott, of Internet Archive. His organization is accepting requests.

BuzzFeeed.news, Katie Notopoulos, “Twitter said it will not delete the accounts of dead people.”