Twitter announces it will begin culling inactive users in December

Any accounts that have not been active in the past six months will be removed

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 13, 2019 employees walk past a lighted Twitter log as they leave the company's headquarters in San Francisco. Twitter on November 21, 2019, began letting users "hide" tweeted replies that could be seen as abusive or harassing in the latest effort by the online platform to create a more welcoming environment. The move is part of an effort to help users "feel safe and comfortable while talking on Twitter," head of product management Suzanne Xie said in a statement announcing the feature. / AFP / Glenn CHAPMAN

Twitter has announced it will begin deleting accounts that have not been active within the past six months.

The cull is being done to remove any users who have not yet agreed to the social network’s updated privacy policy, and will include the accounts of those who have died.

Users who have been inactive, or those wanting to preserve the accounts of those who have died, have until Wednesday, December 11 to log in to their profiles. It is the first time Twitter has taken such steps to remove users on a large scale.

The social network says the move will also help to add credibility to people’s follower count, ensuring that the number represents an active and engaged audience.

The first batch of deleted accounts will involve those registered outside of the US. It will mean that, from December 11, some previously unavailable usernames will be up for grabs, although Twitter has denied this is the reasoning behind the cull.

A spokesperson for the firm added that in the future, it would begin to look at accounts which have logged in, but have not been active on the platform, in an attempt to eradicate any bots.

Any inactive users whose accounts are at risk of deactivation have received an email from Twitter warning them. A further email will be sent closer to the deadline if no action is taken.

Twitter says the cull will not affect its reported user numbers, as those figures are currently based on accounts that are active at least once a day.

"As part of our commitment to serve the public conversation, we’re working to clean up inactive accounts to present more accurate, credible information people can trust across Twitter," Twitter said in a statement. "Part of this effort is encouraging people to actively log-in and use Twitter when they register an account, as stated in our inactive accounts policy.”