The Twitter account of computer scientist Hal Finney, one of Bitcoin's earliest developers, could soon be commemorated after the platform rolls out new account policies next year, as per an announcement on Thursday.
Finney passed away in 2014 after battling life-threatening complications from ALS, a rare disease.
Twitter users have long demanded better policies and recognition for accounts belonging to deceased users. In 2019, the social media giant even received backlash after proposing the automatic deletion of “inactive” accounts—a move that would mean accounts belonging to deceased users would vanish.
But Twitter didn’t move ahead with the changes, stating at the time it would not remove any inactive accounts until such concerns were adequately addressed.
The new update expands on that. “We know how important it is to preserve a Twitter account in memory of someone who has passed,” the firm said, adding that it would unveil a new account type specifically designed for "memorialized" accounts.
“This will also come with an updated policy for memorialization and a new application flow to request the memorialization of an account,” Twitter added.
After the roll-out, Finney could be among the many personalities—who brought about defining advancements to the world—to receive a memorialized account. As part of Bitcoin's erstwhile developer team, he was one of the few individuals to ever interact (over mail) with Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s charismatic, elusive, founder and even became the first-ever recipient of Bitcoin in January 2009.
Finney also gave Twitter its first-ever Bitcoin tweet, a now-legendary two word message which said, “Running bitcoin,” a tweet that referred to operating a Bitcoin node.
— halfin (@halfin) January 11, 2009
Preserving a Twitter account seems apt for Finney—he was cryogenically frozen in 2014.