00:51 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Twitter Puts Inactive Account Deletions on ‘Pause’ after Backlash

    © AFP 2019 / EMMANUEL DUNAND
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    Twitter said Wednesday it was putting on hold a plan to delete inactive accounts amid concerns that accounts from deceased users would be swept up in the purge.

    The social network said it now would not remove accounts until it had a process for "memorialising" dead users on the network. It admitted not having a policy in place was a "miss on our part”.

    The social media platform said it was taking action on inactive accounts due to regulatory concerns and once it had a full process in place, account deactivations would occur anew starting with the EU first. According to Twitter, the decision to initially focus on the EU is due to the need to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

    "We apologise for the confusion and will keep you all posted," the company said in a series of tweets posted on Wednesday.

    On Monday, Twitter had begun contacting users who hadn't logged in for the past six months, warning them that they would have their accounts deleted unless they signed in and agreed to the firm's latest privacy policy. However, the company admitted later that it had not considered the issue of the potential upset that would be caused by the removal of accounts belonging to users who had died. Many users noted that they tend to check in on their loved ones who were no longer alive in order to honour their memories.

    Other networks, such as Facebook, offer a process called "memorialisation", whereby verified family members or other loved ones can request that a deceased user's account be kept on the network but frozen in time. Interactions with the account are limited in order to help prevent illegal abuse.

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