In Musk's latest maneuver, the Twitter CEO and magnet for controversy announced his team will be “purging” accounts that have been inactive for several years, in an effort to “free up abandoned handles”.
While no official date has been announced for when this process will begin, the chief executive warns users that follower counts may be impacted as a result.
This revelation comes days after the multi-billionaire tried to reassign NPRs and the National Public Radio's Twitter handles due to inactivity, and weeks after the app began removing blue checks for its legacy users.
Twitter Accounces a Purge on Inactive Accounts
If you're an idle Twitter user, your account may be at risk — according to a Tweet recently fired off by the company's CEO, Elon Musk.
The chief executive explained that if an account has been dormant for several years, it may be purged and archived, claiming that the action is vital in the app's mission to “free up abandoned 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 (@elonmusk) May 8, 2023
Musk also pointed out that due to the scale of this project, it will likely affect lots of people's follower counts as a result.
But this isn't the first time the CEO has waged a war against inactive users. Last week Musk threatened to reassign the handles of a number of organizations that had suspended posting after incorrectly being labeled as ‘state-affiliated media'.
In a series of private emails, Musk told the organizations like NPR and National Public Radio that if they continued to remain inactive, their account handle would be given to “another company”.
The CEO also posted a Tweet last November which claimed the company would soon begin freeing up the usernames of 1.5 billion accounts by deleting accounts that haven't been active.
Since the company is yet to make an official statement, it's unclear when the social media site will begin purging dormant accounts and what exactly the company considers to be “inactive”.
How can Twitter users avoid being purged?
According to Twitter's inactive account policy, users should log into their account at least once every 30 days to remain active.
Since inactivity is purely based on logging in, this is the only way to avoid your account being ousted in the app's latest crackdown.
Is Twitter Still the Best Social Media Platform?
Whether you're an irregular Twitter user frustrated about this proposed purge, or a legacy blue tick holder that's recently been dethroned, there are a number of reasons why you might have grown disillusioned with Twitter over the past few months.
The truth is, due to the platform's cultural capital and the size of its existing community, lots of Twitter alternatives simply don't weigh up.
However, if you're looking for a platform that looks and behaves similarly to Twitter, but is free from the megalomaniac impulses of Elon Musk, Bluesky will be your best bet. The app lets you share videos and posts and also offers “What's Hot” and “Following” feeds to categorize content. Sadly, it's invite-only at the moment, so you'll need to hope someone you know is kind enough to throw you an invite.
Mastodon is another great contender that relies on open-source code and has similar microblogging features to Twitter. It also challenges Twitter's top-down structure by feeding all of its profits back into the app itself.
If you're interested in learning more about the German incumbent you can read our comprehensive guide to Mastodon here.