Twitter forgot about dead people.
The social media giant awkwardly copped to that fact late Wednesday morning with a tweet admitting that, perhaps, its recently announced plan to free up inactive accounts for new registration may not have been entirely thought through. Specifically, the company admitted to overlooking the impact such a process might have on accounts that once belonged to the dearly departed.
“We’ve heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased,” wrote the company. “This was a miss on our part.”
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
Indeed, the idea that inactive accounts would be removed from the service — thus freeing up the Twitter handle to be registered again by a new users — is problematic for all kinds of reasons (think: fraud). That it might also wipe the digital record of one’s loved ones is yet another unpleasant wrinkle in the plan.
Which is why, at least for now, the entire thing has been put on hold.
“We will not be removing any inactive accounts until we create a new way for people to memorialize accounts,” Twitter explained.
When reached for comment about when Twitter might create such a process for memorializing accounts, a spokesperson told us they had “no further details to share at this time.”
In other words, it might be a while.
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