The news came out today that Twitter will be removing inactive accounts in the coming weeks after notifying users starting December 11th. From The Verge:
Twitter is sending out emails to owners of inactive accounts with a warning: sign in by December 11th, or your account will be history and its username will be up for grabs again. Any account that hasn’t signed in for more than six months will receive the email alert.
After announcing a permanent ban of political ads, a move that I applaud, here comes this news which I also approve too. Here is the thing, what is the point of having an account if you don’t use it for so long. The problem though is how long is too long. Six months seems a bit short to me.
Here another issue: what if the Twitter account belongs to a deceased person? Well, here is Twitter’s answer to this matter:
This doesn’t just affect people who’ve abandoned Twitter; it also stands to have an enormous impact on accounts belonging to the deceased. The Verge has asked Twitter whether those will also be pulled into the inactive pool and ultimately removed as part of this process. “We do not currently have a way to memorialize someone’s Twitter account once they have passed on, but the team is thinking about ways to do this,” the spokesperson said.
This example shows how unprepared Internet companies are to deal with people dying. This is one of many issues I personally documented in my piece “Managing the Elderly’s Numeric Life“. These issues are real. Solutions are needed.[Update]: Well, it seems Twitter wasn’t ready to move forward after all.