A new initiative has been launched to preserve tweets from deceased loved ones after the social network announced it will begin removing inactive accounts this December. The Twittering Dead project was announced by Internet Archive software curator and digital preservationist Jason Scott, and asks users to provide the Twitter handles of any accounts they’d like to see archived. Unlike Facebook and other services, Twitter does not offer a way to memorialize accounts.
Twitter announced its plan to remove old Twitter accounts yesterday. Starting December 11th, any account that has not been signed in to within the last six months risks being deleted, freeing up its username to be registered by someone else. Twitter says it made the decision to “clean up inactive accounts” in order to “present more accurate, credible information people can trust across Twitter.” But the move will also have the unfortunate side effect of removing some content with sentimental value.
This Twitter policy change is typical of the company – shortsighted, stupid, and made without regard to how it will affect real people.
UPDATE: Twitter has posted this tweet:
We’ve heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased. This was a miss on our part. We will not be removing any inactive accounts until we create a new way for people to memorialize accounts.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 27, 2019