Science & Tech

Twitter is working on a edit button but users are divided

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Twitter is working on an edit button - but whether or not users should have the ability to edit their posts after sharing them has sparked debate.

The social media giant confirmed it was working on the feature after Tesla boss Elon Musk bought a 9.2 per cent stake in the company and joined its board of directors. However, the company have confirmed that they had been working on the plans in 2021, long before Musk brought his stake in the company.

Earlier this week, the billionaire tech entrepreneur tweeted a poll asking users if they wanted the feature to be added. Over four million users responded, with the vast majority voting in favour of the edit button.

It’s currently not possible to edit a tweet after it has been shared, so if you make a typo you either have to delete the tweet or grin and bear it.

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Writing on Twitter, the social media platform said: “Now that everyone is asking…

“Yes, we’ve been working on an edit feature since last year!”

“No, we didn’t get the idea from a poll,” it said, adding a winking emoji.

“We’re kicking off testing within @TwitterBlue Labs in the coming months to learn what works, what doesn’t, and what’s possible.”

Twitter Blue Labs is the platform’s subscription service offering early access to features.

So what do Twitter users think?

YouTuber Tim Dodd responded to Musk’s poll to say there should be a few limitations to the feature. He suggested it should only be available for a few minutes, and when an edit is made there should be a link to the original.

He said: “This keeps a public record but allows the tweeter the ability to fix a simple mistake and not re-notify their followers with a new tweet.”

Musk responded: “That sounds reasonable.”.

But not everyone is quite so convinced, with accountability seemingly being the biggest concern users have:

Meta’s Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth addressed people’s fears over how someone may be able to completely change a tweet after it goes viral.

He said: “We solved this on Facebook a long time ago. You just include an indicator that it has been edited along with a change log. If you are really worried about embeds they can point to a specific revision in that history but with a link to the latest edit. Not a real issue.”

Musk responded: “Facebook gives me the willies.”

Some people are in favour of it, including photographer Misan Harriman.

In a video from November that has since been reshared by other Twitter users, Harriman said the edit button would alleviate the anxiety some people with dyslexia feel when using the platform:

Others pointed out previous tweets from Twitter, including one from 2021 which reads: “You don't need an edit button, you just need to forgive yourself.”


Now that Musk has become Twitter’s largest shareholder, here are seven features we think he’ll add to the platform.

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