Twitter has just announced that it will proceed with less haste than originally planned with regards removing inactive accounts. Public backlash against the proposed account cull, stemming in part from the Bitcoin community, has forced the company to reconsider the policy.
People largely objected to the sudden removal of important accounts of those now deceased. One of the most frequently referenced in need of preserving is that of the late Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney.
Historic Bitcoin Tweets Won’t Go in the Trash
Earlier this week, Twitter announced that it would begin indiscriminately deleting inactive accounts from its social network. The scale of the proposed account cull makes it the biggest in the company’s history. As per a BBC report, the company said it would remove all accounts that had been inactive for six months on December 11.
Twitter justified the account purge by arguing that users that don’t (or can’t) sign in cannot agree to updates in terms and conditions or privacy policies.
However, the proposal has been met with criticism from those that say certain accounts of now deceased users should remain. Twitter currently does not have a system to memorialise such accounts, meaning potentially important posts would be lost forever.
Particular criticism came from the Bitcoin community. One of the accounts that appeared to fall under the criteria for the chop was that of early Bitcoiner, Hal Finney. Finney was one of the first to even provide feedback to the initial posting of the Whitepaper in 2008. He also received the first Bitcoin transaction. The hugely influential and respected computer scientist passed away in 2014 and is, of course, unable to sign in to Twitter.
Just hours after Satoshi Nakamoto released the software into the wild, Finney tweeted the now legendary:
Naturally, the sudden removal of such a pivotal part of Bitcoin history has been pretty much unanimously criticised in the Bitcoin community. So much so, in fact, that Twitter has just announced that it will take a more measured approach to its account deletion process.
In a subsequent tweet, the company wrote:
“We’ve heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased. This was a miss on our part. We will not be removing any inactive accounts until we create a new way for people to memorialize accounts.”