Furries and internet worry of history erasure as Twitter and Google announce plans to close inactive accounts
Dying, as it turns out, is against the rules.
Concerns over history lost
This sudden turn in the web 2.0 landscape has caused a stirring of concern and frustration. This required some clarification, as Google later indicated that YouTube videos would not be deleted from these inactive accounts, despite the earlier announcing indicated YouTube accounts would be impacted.
But despite the backpedal statements made, it has highlighted the need for end of life planning and retention of data outside these large corporate entities in order to retain history. The accounts of the late Rapid T. Rabbit and Shon Howell have already been suspended from their inactive Twitter accounts. It was noted that some of these accounts were suspended due to being hacked after the original user’s passing. A concern that is pushing these organizations to push for these inactive account removals.
Furries have started to take requests for archival purposes. Christopher Polt has announced a Google form people can fill out with requests for archival of fur fans who have passed on and whose accounts have not been impacted yet.
A request from Fang, Feather, and Fin: if you know the Twitter account of a furry who has passed away and therefore is liable to be purged under the company's new inactivity policy, please fill out the form in the next tweet and we will try to preserve it in the archive. – CBPolt
A better and more respectful means of protection?
If the concerns of these large corporations is that our accounts will be used for nefarious means after we pass on or are not active on them, then there are other means to go about this rather than making it appear that the dead person violated rules within their lifetime.
FurAffinity, for all the criticism it has received for being slow to implement modern sensibilities, is already ahead of the curve here. They can denote statuses upon the user with symbols before the username. One that was introduced was the “deceased” status which is symbolized by an infinity symbol. For instance, this is the page of the late Lemonade Coyote, an EMT who lost their life while in the line of duty, shows how this would be utilized.
Corporate social media could utilize symbols in the same way to denote users who have passed on, and lock down the ability to sign in and make any posts or updates so that it would prevent a hacker from grave robbing the accounts of the past. If they choose to delete non-public facing data behind closed doors, that would be one thing, but we should always be wary of removing items that are a matter of public record.