Earlier this week, Google announced a major move affecting Google Account owners. According to the search giant, it would delete inactive accounts for two years, which will be implemented in phases.
Unfortunately, this also means removing the data of these abandoned accounts, including files shared or uploaded to Gmail, Docs, Drive, Meet, Calendar, Google Photos, and YouTube. The decision, however, sparked a backlash, especially in deleting YouTube content from old accounts. Many negated the idea, mentioning the legacy content created by old creators who have already passed away. Google has now changed this part of the policy, which now reads: “We do not have plans to delete accounts with YouTube videos at this time.”
It should be a helpful move to pacify the worrying YouTube community, though the decision might not last forever, as implied by Google in its statement. Yet, huge platform companies would probably be pushed to observe this, with many treating online uploads now as part of public records. This is one of the sentiments of some users towards the same announcement by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who wants to purge inactive accounts on Twitter.
“I may be reading this incorrectly, but if you are actually deleting inactive accounts and all their historic tweets, I would STRONGLY urge you to reconsider,” commented former Oculus VR CTO John Carmack on Musk’s announcement. “Letting people know how many “active” followers they have is good information, but deleting the output of inactive accounts would be terrible.”
On the other hand, while Google has finally decided to save YouTube videos from this new policy, other Google Account content will still be obliterated by the company. As per Google, it would begin in December 2023, “starting with accounts that were created and never used again.” Fortunately, simple login and using the account on any of Google’s services will prevent this. Google also added that the deletion would not affect accounts for schools or businesses and those being actively used for existing subscription services.