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Twitter Purging Inactive Accounts, Including Deceased Users, Sparks Grief and Anger

Twitter Purging Inactive Accounts, Including Deceased Users, Sparks Grief and Anger

Twitter Purging Inactive Accounts, Including Deceased Users, Sparks Grief and Anger

Jessica, Emily Reed's younger sister, was asleep more than ten years ago. She has visited Jessica's Twitter profile frequently over the past ten years in an exertion to "keep her memory alive."
Emily used Twitter as a tool to process her sorrow and restore contact with her sister, who she likens to a twin. Jessica's account is now closed, nevertheless.
Twitter's owner Elon Musk stated last week that it will delete accounts that had been dull for a long time. People who have lost, or who anxiety losing, the concept and sentiments of departed loved ones tied to asleep accounts have expressed outrage over that choice.
After education about the purge, Reed instantly went back to Jessica's page as she had done a day or two ago. An "account suspended" statement that hinted at potential Twitter policy violations showed in place of Jessica's page.

Tens of thousands of people have responded to Reed's post in which she described her dismay at losing the account. When others exposed that a departed loved one's account had dissolved, they also experienced comparable anguish.
According to Reed, 43, "having these digital footprints... is super important to me."
With the foreword of social media, people now have a new method to grieve, going back to the location where they already interacted with friends and family. In addition to recollections and the physical remnants of lives past, fragments of lives are also being recorded in the digital sphere.
Social media sites have been struggling with it in recent years.
Years before Musk arrived, in 2019, Twitter abandoned plans to delete dormant accounts after facing a similar uproar.

Other social media platforms have discovered ways to enable users to grieve for departed loved ones.
Users on Facebook and Instagram can ask for their accounts to be memorialized or canceled. Accounts that have been memorialized include the phrase "Remembering" next to the person's name.
Shira Gabriel, a psychology professor at the University at Buffalo, said, "In this modern age, we have these electronic reminders of people — (including) little snippets of concept they photograph they posted or experiences they had on a specific day. According to Gabriel, looking through a departed loved one's social media profiles may be a helpful way to process grief as well as an opportunity for the community to unite in remembrance.
It "can bring about a sense of mourning again," Gabriel added, if it becomes clear that resource will no longer exist. "Removing this digital thumbprint that was left behind and the ability for community members to assemble in one place has a significant psychological cost associated with it."
It's unclear if Musk will change his mind about the purge. Tesla's wealthy CEO has implemented practices that have alarmed both users and marketers, and he has shown no interest in changing them.
Linda Yaccarino, a former NBCUniversal advertising executive who was selected as the company's new CEO last week, will have her hands full managing a platform that currently appears to be in a constant state of upheaval.

According to Samuel Woolley, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin's School of Journalism and Media, deleting dormant accounts might be perceived as fulfilling a commitment Musk made when he purchased the business.
According to Woolley, there are valid reasons to keep dormant accounts and valid reasons to remove them, but he is wary of the "one-size-fits-all" strategy.
Account deletion proponents point to distorted stats on social media sites brought on by inactive or phony accounts. However, removing dormant accounts might also mean losing tweets that captured historical events, opinions, and breaking news on the platform throughout the years. This could add further emotional suffering for those users who are mourning the loss of a loved one.
Twitter functions much like a library of information, according to Woolley. The author asserts that just because a person hasn't tweeted in a month or a few years doesn't imply that their tweets don't still be very relevant.
Musk did confirm that dormant accounts will be compiled and that the purpose of eliminating them was to free up unused Twitter handles, or user names.
It is unknown exactly what it entails, counting how inactive accounts would appear after being archived and if they will be simple to access. The number of accounts that will be deleted and whether or not the policy will be applied equally are two other components of the proposal that are unknown.

The inactive accounts of loved ones vanished from the site last week, but the account of the late father of contentious online celebrity Andrew Tate, for instance, still appears to be there.
Tate expressed his approval of Musk's choice on Twitter, although he requested that his father's account stay live since he "still (reads) his account daily."
Picking and selecting which accounts to disband would "create precisely the kind of tiered system that Musk says he wants to avoid," Woolley added.
Twitter sent an automated email in response to requests for comment from The Associated Press. Ella Irwin, who oversees trust and safety on Twitter, remained silent.
Twitter policy states that the social media site uses log-ins to evaluate if an account is inactive. According to Twitter, users should sign in at least once every 30 days.
Twitter users may download an archive of their own data using the app, but not for accounts for whom they don't have login information. For instance, Reed noticed that for the past ten years, her family has been unable to access Jessica's account. The only remnants they currently possess are a few screenshots that Reed's other sister, fortunately, took before the cleanup.

Reed discusses the significance of Jessica's Facebook and Twitter accounts throughout her grieving process, from following her sister's arduous cystic fibrosis journey—a progressive genetic disorder that Reed also has—to cherishing Messages on Twitter that demonstrated "the joy and... the vibrancy that came out of her words."
The memory and picture of a deceased person might gradually fade over time in your mind, "like a fading photograph," according to Reed. A person's memory may be preserved through internet tools, she continued, "in a way that just your own personal memory can't."

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