If you’ve been away from Twitter for many years and still want to hold on to your account, now might be the time to come back, as Twitter is freeing up handles. “We’re purging accounts that have had no activity at all for several years, so you will probably see follower count drop,” Elon Musk tweeted on Monday.
According to Twitter’s updated inactive account policy page, users must log in at least every 30 days to keep an account active. The policy also states that accounts may be deleted permanently due to prolonged inactivity. As recently as April 19th, the policy only required people to log in every six months to be considered active, according to an archived page. The company has quietly updated its policy before Musk’s announcement.
When asked if accounts would be deleted with their historic tweets, Musk said they would be archived and further emphasized that “it is important to free up abandoned handles.”
Musk’s announcement comes after he reportedly threatened American non-profit media, NPR, to continue posting on have its handle reassigned. The move follows NPR’s decision to stop using Twitter. NPR’s Bobby Allyn notes that Twitter will be violating its terms of service if NPR is reassigned to another company if it logs in, even if it does not tweet.
Musk’s new revelation of being inactive for “several years” contradicts the terms stated on its policy page for 30 days. It remains to be seen what happens to “inactive” accounts for now.