Have you noticed how lately many websites are asking you to accept their new privacy policies? This is due to Europe’s new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations), which went into effect on May 25 of this year. In short, GDPR gives European citizens the right to “clearly and explicitly opt into having their data collected and used by a company on the web.”
All of these new policies and agreements have shaken websites, no matter their size and amount of users. Twitter is one of the largest companies that have been effected, and this has resulted in many cancelled accounts. Mashable reports that over the past week, Twitter has been closing the accounts of users who, despite their current age, joined the website before they were 13 years old.
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Twitter has never been strict regarding the age of its users, so it’s now facing a problem since a lot of people joined the site and found ways of going around the age restrictions. Twitter’s solution has been to pinpoint the ages of users that were younger than 13 when they first opened their profile and block their access to the site. As you can imagine, this has resulted in many cancelled accounts, even though some of the banned users are now adults. All because of the new laws that require companies to enforce a minimum age requirement of 13.
Users with cancelled accounts are able to complain and contact Twitter, but many of them have been asked to provide their IDs and birth certificates in order to prove their age.
— amy (was @harryndlads) (@harryndlads2) May 30, 2018
This seemingly extreme measure can be explained by the fact that GDPR violations result in very expensive fines and a lot of problems for the company. Twitter hasn’t been the only website to be wary of these new measures, but it’s one of the companies that has handled this situation in the clunkiest of ways. Even though Twitter had a lot of time to prepare for these new policies, they decided to keep secrets from their users and to shut down accounts without providing other options. For now, the only option left for users whose accounts have been cancelled is to create a new profile and start over.