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Tuesday, Dec 01, 2020

Twitter will free up handles by deleting inactive accounts

Twitter will free up handles by deleting inactive accounts

Those who’ve attempted to snag their preferred Twitter handle know what a pain the process can be. Users can squat on an account for years, holding onto handles in spite of long stretches of inactivity.
As spotted by a BBC reporter, a new move by the company could help alleviate the situation.

The service confirmed the move in an email to TechCrunch:

As noted, the service has an inactive account policy in place, though it traditionally hasn’t done much to enforce it. The company encourages users to, at the very least, log in and tweet every six months. Now it’s taking the added measure of reaching out to inactive users, prompting them to log in prior to December 11, or risk being deleted.

As for the timeline of opening up those accounts, Twitter’s not saying. And the fine print on the inactive account policy page still notes that the service does not “generally accept requests for usernames that seem inactive,” short of perceived trademark infringement. A spokesperson noted in an email to TechCrunch that the accounts “may” become available, though the process of removing old accounts will likely take a number of months.

Update: Twitter wrote back to clarify that freeing up handles is a “byproduct” of its work to “present more accurate, credible information,” rather than the primary goal of the move.
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