“Your number of followers will probably drop”

Elon Musk now wants to do what his predecessor Jack Dorsey got into trouble.  (Images: marcinpasnicki and B_Zocholl via Pixabay).

Elon Musk now wants to do what his predecessor Jack Dorsey got into trouble. (Images: marcinpasnicki and B_Zocholl via Pixabay).

Billionaire and Twitter boss Elon Musk now wants to delete Twitter accounts on a large scale (Spiegel, FAZ, Stern have reported). Accounts that have been inactive for years should be affected by the measure.

Already in December 2022 Musk had announced that he would remove inactive accounts from the platform. At that time, Musk spoke of saying goodbye to the planned clear-cut of 1.5 billion inactive accounts.

Musk then wrote on Twitter yesterday:

We delete accounts that have been inactive for several years. This will probably decrease the number of your followers.

link to Twitter content

Which accounts are affected?

Musk’s announcement is in line with a Twitter policy (Inactive Account Policy), which prompts those users to log in at least every 30 days – otherwise they due to prolonged inactivity would be deleted.

According to Musk, the profile names of deleted accounts should be available again after the deletion process has taken place.

No precise announcement as to when inactive accounts will be deleted and what exactly is meant by “several years” is pending. It also remains unclear for the time being how to deal with accounts where the people behind them have died.

What happens to the accounts of deceased people?

As Techradar wrote, the account of the various musician Amy Winehouse will continue; however, how accounts of lesser-known but nevertheless relevant people will be dealt with is uncertain for the time being. One example is Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in 2018. About his Profilewith 1.4 million followers, was last tweeted on the anniversary of Jamal’s death, on October 2nd, 2018.

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As early as November 2019, when Twitter was still under the aegis of Jack Dorsey, deleting inactive accounts was considered. However, Dorsey dismissed the idea after concerns were raised about how to deal with the accounts of deceased users (see The Verge).

Twitter and Elon Musk: a love story?

Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion last year. In April, Twitter removed the blue verification tick that certifies an account’s authenticity. The blue tick is now reserved exclusively for paying customers.

How do you feel about wildcard Elon Musk’s latest heist? Is this a sensible action to detoxify Twitter, or is it rather unreflected activism that many legitimate accounts will fall victim to? Feel free to discuss it in our comments.

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