Musk Says Twitter Will Purge Inactive Accounts

    Musk Says Twitter Will Purge Inactive Accounts
    Last updated May 09, 2023
    Image credit: Gizmodo


    • Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Monday announced the platform will begin “purging accounts that have had no activity at all for several years.”[1]
    • Musk added that many users will see their follower count drop, but reaffirmed this is not the first time Twitter has removed inactive accounts.[2]
    • Twitter has often warned users about prolonged account inactivity and reportedly keeps a record of account log-ins to mitigate problems. The company’s Help Center page recommends users log into their accounts monthly to avoid being flagged as inactive.[3]
    • A purge could make more usernames available. In the past, Twitter considered auctioning off usernames from inactive accounts, and in December 2022 Musk said the app would start freeing the names of 1.5B accounts "soon."[4]
    • This move would be the latest in a number of high-profile changes to Twitter since Musk bought the platform. Previously, he removed the legacy blue checkmark that verified thousands of accounts, including those of celebrities, journalists, and politicians, and attached account verification to Twitter Blue subscriptions.[5]


    Narrative A

    Musk continues to work toward making Twitter better. The platform needed changes so it could raise much-needed revenue and move closer to being the free-speech haven Musk promised it would become. Purging these accounts will allow active users to utilize popular handles and cut back on bots.

    Narrative B

    Like Twitter’s new “verification” plan that doesn’t verify identity, this purge sounds like another scheme Musk has announced without thinking it all the way through. Hopefully, if he goes forward with the purge, he’ll be careful because many consider the accounts of deceased loved ones to be digital tombstones — documenting a chronology of important historical information. If ever there was a situation for Musk to react to the backlash, it’s this one.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 50% chance that Musk will be succeeded as CEO of Twitter by January 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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