the tech post

This blog is about technology, software and social media. It's aimed as much towards 'normal' people as the tech savvy. The author is Tony Gallacher.

Squatting or ‘who’s been sitting in *my* Twitter handle?’

squatter symbol

The squatter symbol, apparently

One of the annoying and – if you ask me – anti-social aspects of the web is the concept of squatting.

If you can’t get the Twitter handle you want, it may well be taken and in use. But it may not. Many people sign up for the social media service but never use their account. Some register handles that other people might want and then, bizarrely, never use them. This is despite the fact that these handles have no monetary value. This is squatting.

Twitter have promised to check accounts that have been inactive for more than 6 months. They plan to release those accounts but have given no timescale for this. Apparently it will take some time.

One reason they give is that some accounts are used by software applications to read Twitter feeds. That means that an account might look inactive, because it sends no tweets, but it is actually being used by an application to read twitter feeds. Hmmm. I’m not sure it can be that hard to check if that’s what’s going on.

Anyway, I await, breathlessly, the release of the inactive twitter handle I want. I use @tonygallacher for everything, at the moment. I’d like to have a separate handle for work, though.

The business handle I want is ideal. It’s got all the right letters, in all the right places. It’s registered but it’s inactive. Really. It’s a fossilised, extinct, sloth of a Twitter handle. But I can’t get it. It’s frustrating.

I think Twitter should have a ‘squatting’ policy. If a user believes that a twitter handle they want is inactive, they should be able to apply for it. (A simple form on the web site would do.) Twitter would then check if it’s been inactive for 6 months. If it has, they would reserve it. Then they would email the applicant giving them, say, a month to claim it. If it’s not claimed in that time, then Twitter would release it, for anyone else to register.

Problem solved.

If you found this Tech Post article useful, please share it or ‘like’ it using the options below. Many thanks, Tony

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This entry was posted on February 29, 2012 by in Business, Comment, Tech, Web and tagged , , , , .

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