Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency community have long congregated on Twitter. Don’t ask me why, but it’s a thing.
Hence, when Twitter revealed on Twitter revealed that it would be purging accounts that are seen to be inactive, those in this community and many others responded, for a reason that you may not expect.
Bitcoin Community Bands Together to Save Hal Finney’s Account
Yesterday, Twitter users were given notice via email that those that haven’t logged into their accounts for six months may have their accounts purged to free up user names. A spokesperson said to CNN:
We’re working to clean up inactive accounts to present more accurate, credible information people can trust across Twitter.
Many across the social media quickly responded, claiming that this move would delete the accounts of the deceased, which has long been a debate in online circles — the debate being “should dead individuals have their accounts memorialized or deleted?”
This relates to cryptocurrency because many fans of Bitcoin pointed to the Twitter account of Hal Finney, the second person to work on the Bitcoin protocol alongside Satoshi that some believe to be the creator of Bitcoin himself. Finney posted this famous tweet in 2009, just a day or two after the launch of the protocol.
Unfortunately, after a few years of working with the project, Finney passed due to complications with ALS, and thus his account has been abandoned. Twitter’s policy would delete this account, it seems. Thus, many individuals and companies in the industry, including BTC rewards upstart Lolli, urged Twitter to reconsider the move.
— halfin (@halfin) January 11, 2009
And this feedback, alongside other criticism from others in the Twitter community, prompted the company to put a pause on the move. “We’ve heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased. This was a miss on our part. We will not be removing any inactive accounts until we create a new way for people to memorialize accounts,” they wrote in a statement, asserting that this move to delete accounts is not the right move at the moment.
We’ve heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased. This was a miss on our part. We will not be removing any inactive accounts until we create a new way for people to memorialize accounts.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 27, 2019
Square Crypto, the Bitcoin-focused branch of the Jack Dorsey-run Square, confirmed in a tweet that has since been deleted that Dorsey had told them that Finney’s account will be safe for the foreseeable future.
Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash