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:
.@matt_levine's take on the edit button is the only thing you need to read:\nhttps://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-04-05/elon-musk-got-a-twitter-board-seat?sref=2o0rZsF1\u00a0\u2026 https://twitter.com/TwitterComms/status/1511456430024364037\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/G3BAsjvYCv— Bloomberg Opinion (@Bloomberg Opinion) 1649195360
Unpopular opinion: @Twitter shouldn't have an edit button. So many implications on responsibility, accountability.. if edits need to be made, there is always the delete button and/or erratum posts.— Bianca Gonzalez (@Bianca Gonzalez) 1649207882
You do not want an edit button on Twitter. Chaos will ensue when Journos are able to edit their bad takes at any time with 0 consequences— Alec Sears (@Alec Sears) 1649166037
Twitter doesn't need an edit button cos if this feature is added, it will cause complete chaos which in turn will ruin the platform; Twitter thrives on raw tweets, editing a tweet will affect the quoted retweets, replies & shared articles contextually. An edit button is a no-no.— Daniel Regha (@Daniel Regha) 1648841160
Here's my argument against an edit button: What if a tweet goes viral, lots of retweets & millions of impressions, & then the author completely changes the meaning? Not just a grammatical fix, but a TOTAL ideological change? Or shameless self-promote?— Liz Wheeler (@Liz Wheeler) 1649123953
Asking for an edit button has been such a silly performance considering that you can quickly delete and repost a tweet, and that the people who really care about typos are really just the author and a few random nerds who think calling out typos is a personality— Zito (@Zito) 1649196571
Nobody asked for edit button. Twitter\u2019s originality is why we love it. Just bring back the damn fleets.— A$AP Lerry (@A$AP Lerry) 1648836213
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:
My dyslexia means I struggle with spelling, grammar and I always miss words out. The lack of an edit button makes @Twitter a particularly anxious experience for many folks like me. @jack I am politely begging you to allow the editing of tweets. So many people genuinely need this.pic.twitter.com/Tr6QssYvpw— Misan Harriman (@Misan Harriman) 1637321959
I\u2019m legit suuuuuper shocked to see so many people against an edit button. Who cares if someone changes what their earlier opinion was? It\u2019s social media\u2026 it\u2019s not a big deal AT ALL!— CHELSE\ud83c\udd70\ufe0f \ud83d\ude43 (@CHELSE\ud83c\udd70\ufe0f \ud83d\ude43) 1649165833
You\u2019d think I make typos on purpose to make a case for the edit button. Nope. I really just need the button.— Marques Brownlee (@Marques Brownlee) 1649175466
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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