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I've been in the process of trying to update my usernames on various online services to a common username. I've been fortunate on most of the sites to get the username I want (eg. Gmail, Facebook) but the one that still eludes me is Twitter. The account with the username I want on Twitter hasn't posted anything for over two years ago and shows no activity. It doesn't follow any other accounts and has no followers.

This is a waste of a perfectly good Twitter handle, one that I would very much like to use instead.

Is there any way to get Twitter to release the name so that I can use it?

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Following a Twitter Employee : @Delbius (Del Harvey), it seems you can try to submit a Twicket to request the name.

[...] @support releases accounts when they can for inactivity.
https://twitter.com/#!/delbius/status/63639677932019713

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    It's encouraging that that tweet is only a few hours old. A lot of the material online about getting access to abandoned usernames can be years out of date. That said, I did submit a ticket and I got back an automated reply that "f you're looking to acquire an inactive username for personal use, please check back in a few months. We're currently unable to accommodate individual requests for inactive usernames. We may release all inactive usernames in the future, but have not yet set a date for doing so". The ticket is still "in progress", so I just might be able to get a real response as well. Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 20:04
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    Just checked and my ticket has been closed, but the account I want is still active. Commented May 9, 2011 at 1:52
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No, X no longer releases abandoned usernames for personal use even if the account has been inactive for years.

We cannot release inactive usernames at this time. If a username you would like is being used by an account that seems inactive, you should consider selecting an available variation for your use on X. In general, adding numbers, underscores, or abbreviations can help you come up with an available username.1

There may be a path if you can prove a trademark violation.2

If you believe your trademark rights are being infringed and the account seems inactive, please see X's trademark policy for additional information.1



1  X Help Center > Inactive account policy

2 The Trademark Policy indicates that accounts violating intellectual property (IP) rights may be suspended. Presumably an aggrieved party would gain access to an inactive username matching their IP but that is not explicitly stated.

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    @Blindspots I think in your last edit, you forgot to add the continuation of the sentence: "However X's Trademark Policy if primarily focused on the consequences of a violation to the […]" Commented Jun 8 at 6:08
  • @galacticninja Good catch! I was trying to keep it closer to the original and moved that info into note #2, but forgot to delete that text. Now deleted. ty!
    – Blindspots
    Commented Jun 8 at 7:40
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Update 2024-06
The linked article in this post was updated in 2009 to reflect that the solution no longer works. The author's source for the information, a Get Satisfaction discussion thread, has a post dated Dec-2008 describing the initial policy and then there's one in Jan-2009 describing that Twitter changed their policy which mirrors X's current policy some 15 years later.



The article How to Snap Up that Twitter Username You’ve Always Wanted, quotes Twitter as follows:

We generally have a 9 month rule; if a profile has been inactive for more than 9 months, we release the user name. In cases where the account has never been updated, Twitter can write the owner of the username about releasing it, but results vary.

It seems that usernames are released after 9 months of inactivity. It was apparently not the case for the one you want.

You should try contacting [email protected] to push them to release this username and let you use it instead.

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