Some Twitter users have been unable to access their accounts for more than a year. The reason? They opened them when they were less than 13 years old.
According to the conditions of use of the platform, no user can have an account in the service if it is less than that age. Legally in Spain it is necessary to have 14 years to be able to have a profile in social networks, but Twitter is governed, like any social network, by its own rules, and in this case it establishes the age of 13 years.
“There will be no way to recover deleted content from accounts by Twitter.”
However, Twitter was, for a long time, very permissive with this issue and did not control the age that users indicated when creating the profile. For years, there was not much problem, but with the entry into force of the GDPR, the new European data protection law, the company had to endeavor to meet the standard.
That meant blocking all accounts that had been created when users were under 13 years old, without exception. Although the user was already more than 13 years old in May 2018, when the norm came into force, Twitter was forced to block it.
The reason is that the regulations required the company to eliminate all “I like”, retweets and publications – that is, all the activity on the platform – that the individual would have made before reaching 13 years of age. Once that content has been removed, you could continue using your account if it was proven that you already had the corresponding minimum age.
Twitter has taken almost a year to develop a feature that allows you to eliminate all that content published when you were younger. Meanwhile, the accounts have been blocked, both from people who have not yet reached the age of 13 and from those who already have them but who opened their profiles when they did not yet have them.
This caused the popularization of the hashtag #TwitterLockOut, used by those people who asked Twitter to give them back access to their accounts. However, the company has not been in a hurry to solve the situation.
Now, a year later, Twitter has just confirmed that it starts unlocking the accounts and will return them to users. It will not be an immediate process, anyway, but it will be developed in phases.
In the first place, Twitter will respond to the requests of those users who have been waiting the longest, those who requested that their account be returned more than a year ago. According to the company, the whole process will take “some weeks”.
Users who can now recover their account will receive an email from Twitter with details on how to do it. They will have, from that moment, 30 days to complete the process if they wish to recover their account in the social network. During this, they will give express permission to the company to eliminate from their profile all the activity they did when they were under 13 years old. That content will be removed and there will be no way to recover it by the user.