You’ll have to wait a little longer to get the Twitter handle you really want, but it’s for a good reason. Following backlash about its quiet plan to delete inactive accounts, Twitter announced that it’s working on a way to memorialize accounts.
The company also expanded on its reasons behind the deletion process in a thread.
What’s changed? — The initial move to delete inactive accounts – first noticed by the BBC’s Dave Lee – seemed hastily thought out. Though Twitter has always had an inactive account policy, it admits it hasn’t consistently enforced it.
This mess may have something to do with European law. Try as it might to leave, the U.K. is still a part of the European Union and subject to GDPR compliance. To adhere to European privacy regulations, it enacted a plan to remove these tumbleweed accounts within the EU.
In a swift reaction to user complaints about how this impacts deceased people’s accounts, the company stated that it’s working on a way to memorialize them. No accounts will be deleted until the new feature is in place, effectively pushing the December 11 deadline to an unknown date in the future.
What does this mean for users elsewhere? — The memorialization feature and a clarification of the deletion policy seems focused on Europe, but it's likely the company will bring some form of these changes to other regions.