Twitter to Remove Inactive Accounts, Free Up Usernames Next Month

Inactive users will need to sign in to their accounts by Dec. 11

Twitter users
Inactive Twitter users may be in danger of losing their usernames.
Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Bonnie Stiernberg / November 27, 2019 10:28 am

If you haven’t been active on Twitter in a while, you could be in danger of having your account shut down next month. As The Verge reports, the social media company is sending emails to users who haven’t logged in for over six months informing them that they must sign in to their account by Dec. 11 or risk their username.

“As part of our commitment to serve the public conversation, we’re working to clean up inactive accounts to present more accurate, credible information people can trust across Twitter,” a Twitter spokesperson told the publication. “Part of this effort is encouraging people to actively log-in and use Twitter when they register an account, as stated in our inactive accounts policy. We have begun proactive outreach to many accounts who have not logged into Twitter in over six months to inform them that their accounts may be permanently removed due to prolonged inactivity.”

The spokesperson added that the process of removing inactive accounts and freeing up their usernames “will happen over many months, not just on a single day,” so there’s no word on exactly when the recouped usernames will be up for grabs. Inactive users who want to keep their accounts won’t have to actually tweet anything to retain their usernames — just log in to their account and follow the instructions.

So you could be in danger, or maybe you’ll finally be able to get that name you’ve been hoping to grab since you made it onto the platform in case @BigJim or @KnifeGuy69 hasn’t signed on in a long time.

Update: After outcry from concerned users, Twitter announced Wednesday (Nov. 27) that it will not start removing accounts until it figures out a way to memorialize the accounts of users who are now deceased. “We’ve heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased. This was a miss on our part,” the company tweeted. “We will not be removing any inactive accounts until we create a new way for people to memorize accounts.” Twitter also clarified that their removal process, once it does begin, will focus first on accounts in the EU. “We may broaden the enforcement of our inactivity policy in the future to comply with other regulations around the world and to ensure the integrity of the service,” the company said. “We will communicate with all of you if we do. We apologize for the confusion and concerns we caused and will keep you posted.”

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