Twitter could be about to add an edit button function to its social media tool in the coming months, after many requests from its users.
However, commentators are already voicing concerns that the ability to tweak and fine-tune tweets might not be such a good thing. The worry from some quarters is that posts can be doctored after they’ve accrued likes, replies and other interactions.
Up until now, the only way of correcting errors in Twitter has been to delete and repost a tweet. Posting an update on Tuesday, Twitter revealed that it has been working on an edit button since last year and had plans to test it via Twitter Blue, its subscription-based product.
Jay Sullivan, the company’s VP of consumer product, explained their reasoning behind the move in a thread, pointing out that it had been the most requested Twitter feature for many years. How to integrate feature so that it doesn’t get misused could be rather more difficult to implement though.
“Without things like time limits, controls, and transparency about what has been edited, Edit could be misused to alter the record of the public conversation,” he noted. “Protecting the integrity of that public conversation is our top priority when we approach this work.”
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Concerns about editing
Moreover, even people who used to be at Twitter don't sound entirely convinced about the potential of being able to edit text. Especially if posts end up being altered and skew opinions after a tweet has already been used to make a point.
Lewis Wiltshire, who was previously head of sport at Twitter has voiced his concerns in a series of posts on his account, highlighting how an edit feature might be detrimental.
The announcement of possible added functionality in Twitter comes in a week that has also seen Elon Musk buy a significant stake in the social media platform. The Tesla boss has invested in the region of $2.9 billion and now owns a 9.2 percent share in the business.
Musk even tweeted in usual madcap fashion about the move to add an edit feature. He used a badly written post and a poll sent to his followers, perhaps as a way of illustrating just how welcome the correction feature might be. Twitter has denied Musk had any say in the decision, however, and posted a tweet to underline the point.
Similarly, Twitter’s owner, Jack Dorsey has always appeared reluctant to build an integrated edit function into the social media platform, despite the likes of Facebook and Instagram already having the feature.
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