Many Twitter users have complained about the lack of a retroactive editing feature for years, forcing them to remove and re-post tweets that contain typos or incorrect tags.
Users have been demanding an “edit” button on Twitter for quite some time, despite the platform’s executives and safety experts’ reservations. However, the editing community’s hopes may be fulfilled soon, as the corporation is currently testing just such a feature.
It tweeted on Thursday, “If you see an amended Tweet it’s because we’re testing the edit button.” You are going through this, but everything will be well.
Is It a Good Idea for Twitter to Have an Edit Function?
No one knows if or how many people will see filtered tweets in their feeds. However, a screenshot of the feature in action was released by the service, showing an editable tweet with a pen icon and a “last edited” timestamp in its lower-left corner.
According to a blog post, Twitter is currently doing internal testing of the function with a select group before releasing it to Twitter Blue users in the coming weeks. Initially, the service will be localized to a single, unnamed country before being rolled out to the rest of the world.
Given that this is our most wanted feature to date, we wanted to share where we are in development and let you know that you will be able to see if a Tweet has been modified regardless of whether or not you are part of a test group.
Tweets posted by testers will be seen publicly for 30 minutes, during which time they will have “a few opportunities” to make changes. Any user can view the full edit history and previous versions of a tweet by clicking on the icon, timestamp, and label that appears next to each tweet that has been edited.
Implications of Twitter’s Proposed Edit Button for Users’ Behavior
They say they implemented the time limit and revision history so as to “maintain the integrity of the conversation and create a publicly available record of what was said.”
Given Twitter’s place in public discourse and as a de facto newswire, critics have long voiced concerns that the addition of an edit button might lead to chaos. NPR’s Shannon Bond reports that some in the tech industry are concerned it would make Twitter’s safety and disinformation problems even worse. However, they also argue the button’s design will help alleviate some of these concerns.
Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and former CEO who resigned in November, has been on record as saying, “we’ll probably never do it” when asked if the company would implement an edit button.
In a whistleblower suit, a former Twitter employee alleges serious security issues.
A former worker filed a whistleblower complaint against Twitter, accusing the company of major security flaws.
Of course, even since then, a lot has changed. In April, when Elon Musk made an offer to purchase Twitter, he conducted a survey of his followers and found overwhelming support for the purchase from their end (Musk has since withdrawn his offer, and Twitter is now suing him to compel him to buy the firm for $44 billion).
While an edit button may seem like a straightforward feature to deploy, Michael Leggett, a former design lead and manager at Google and Facebook, told Morning Edition in April that it actually gets at a complex challenge.
“It’s better to do it than not do it, but it’s better not to do it than to do it poorly,” he continued.
Now that Twitter is experimenting with an edit button, the company says it will listen to user feedback, watch for abuse, and consider how the functionality will change how people use the platform to read, post, and interact with tweets.