Elon Musk is purging Twitter accounts that have been inactive for too long

San Francisco, California - Twitter accounts that have not been active at all for longer periods face being removed from the site, owner Elon Musk has said.

Twitter accounts that have not been active at all for longer periods face being removed from the site, owner Elon Musk has said.
Twitter accounts that have not been active at all for longer periods face being removed from the site, owner Elon Musk has said.  © Collage: Twitter & Credit CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP

"We're purging accounts that have had no activity at all for several years, so you will probably see follower count drop," Musk said on Twitter on Monday.

The handles of deleted accounts will then be freed up for other people to use, Musk said. There was no immediate confirmation of exactly how long until an account would be removed.

A few days earlier, Musk hinted that the platform could delete the account of NPR if it did not start tweeting again after its boycott of the platform due to being inaccurately labelled "government-funded media."

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Musk now appears to have softened his stance and says accounts would be "archived" if completely inactive for "several years".

Grimes responds to Elon Musk's purge

According to Twitter's rules, users have to log in at least once every 30 days for their accounts not to be considered inactive. Musk therefore appears to be giving users a longer window of being inactive before removing their accounts.

Concerned users asked if a previously active user's tweets would also be deleted and disappear from older comments and searches. While the handle and account may no longer be accessible after "purging", it's unclear if an account's tweets and other activity will remain viewable.

Musician Grimes, who has two children with Musk, commented on the announcement in support of maintaining old accounts rather than deleting. "It's worth preserving the libraries from the ancient internet," she said.

Cover photo: Collage: Twitter & Credit CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP

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