‘Nice Twitter Handle You Have There. Would Be a Real Shame if Something Happened to It.’

Bobby Allyn, reporting for NPR:

In an unprompted Tuesday email, Musk wrote: “So is NPR going to start posting on Twitter again, or should we reassign @NPR to another company?”

Under Twitter’s terms of service, an account’s inactivity is based on logging in, not tweeting. Those rules state that an account must be logged into at least every 30 days, and that “prolonged inactivity” can result in it being permanently removed.

Musk did not answer when asked whether he planned to change the platform’s definition of inactivity and he declined to say what prompted his new questions about NPR’s lack of participation on Twitter.

“Our policy is to recycle handles that are definitively dormant,” Musk wrote in another email. “Same policy applies to all accounts. No special treatment for NPR.”

This is a shakedown, pure and simple. What a message to big brands and celebrities: stop posting to Twitter and they’ll reassign your longstanding username.

It’s bizarre that Musk thinks this might prompt NPR to start posting to Twitter again, when the only rational reaction is to feel assured that walking away from Twitter was the right move.

Tuesday, 2 May 2023