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Twitter won't be removing inactive accounts after backlash over profiles of dead users

DREAMSTIME/TNS

By DALVIN BROWN | USA Today | Published: November 30, 2019

(Tribune News Service) — Twitter is rethinking its plans to purge inactive accounts, including those started by users who have died.

Soon after saying that it will get rid of some accounts that go unused, Twitter decided to put a pause on the plans after receiving backlash from people who didn't want to lose tweets from users who have passed away.

"We've heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased. This was a miss on our part," Twitter said in a statement Wednesday.

The social networking site initially said it would be wiping accounts that hadn't been accessed within the past six months. The cleanup was set to happen Dec. 11.

On the surface, it was a good idea because the purge would free up coveted usernames that were held up by inactive users. Typically the only way to get a username from someone is through a trademark case.

The proposed move by Twitter also spotlighted the fact that there's no way to memorialize deceased users' accounts. "We will not be removing any inactive accounts until we create a new way for people to memorialize accounts," Twitter said in a statement.

On Facebook, dead users' friends and family have the option to report them as deceased. Once the social networking site has verified the loss, a designated contact person can create a special profile honoring the user.   

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