Edit: May 8 2023, Elon Musk has announced that the account purge has come into effect, read on to learn more about what you can do if this affects you.
Yesterday, Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced a purge on inactive accounts. Musk has cited the reasoning as “freeing [up] the name space” for users who might want a new handle. Musk then went on to assure Twitter that these “1.5 billion accounts” would be accounts which have not tweeted or logged-in for the last few years.
This is very much, an expected move. You might recall from our blogpost a while ago that Musk had expressed interest in purging accounts early in November. It should also be noted that Twitter’s previous management had failed a similar policy change in 2019, to expire accounts which had not been logged into for 6 months. That policy change failed due to outrage and protest across the platform.
Well then, should you be worried? Probably not for your own account. Some have expressed concern over the accounts of loved ones or deceased celebrities, which will more easily fit this criteria. If you have such concerns, we can recommend a useful utility from our friend
snscrape allows you to save public tweets from accounts on Twitter. It also works for a few other websites like Facebook and Reddit.
From your terminal or command prompt, the following command will save a local archive of Elon Musk’s tweets:
snscrape --jsonl twitter-user elonmusk > muskytweets.json
And if you want another account, just substitute the username and a file to save to:
snscrape --jsonl twitter-user RetroTechDreams > RTD_tweets.json
I might write a more detailed tutorial on
snscrape if people are interested.
But for the time being, spread the word! Save what endangered accounts are valuable to you and be sure to tell all of your friends about