Twitter has promised an edit button. However, for people that plan to make mischief with it, the edit feature will likely come with an edit history.
Tweets used to be like a broken egg that could not be recovered once cracked. Since its inception, the social network steadfastly refused to allow people to edit their tweets. The only options to deal with typos or misinformation were to simply ignore it, delete it, or add a note with a tweet reply or quote. However, the thinking among the top executives has apparently changed as the social media platform has admitted to working on an edit feature.
While Twitter officially remains tight-lipped on the implementation, words have begun coming out on how it will work. Jane Manchun Wong, a reverse engineer, claims an edited tweet would have the history of changes attached to it. In a tweet, which she can’t edit now, Wong explained the feature would be immutable. This means Twitter will create a new tweet that includes the changes made, keeping the old tweet intact.
She posted, “Looks like Twitter’s approach to Edit Tweet is immutable, as in, instead of mutating the Tweet text within the same Tweet (same ID), it re-creates a new Tweet with the amended content, along with the list of the old Tweets prior of that edit.”
However, Wong has not been able to work out how the edit history will be presented to users or whether Twitter would do so at all.
Hiding the edit history could quickly become problematic as people could edit their tweets to make people appear to agree with a wrong idea. This is a common fear about such a feature. Facebook’s implementation includes a label that shows a post has been edited.
Meanwhile, Alessandro Paluzzi, an app researcher, has posted tweets appearing to contain screenshots of what the edit option would look like. You will access it through the three-dot menu present on each tweet.
When you select the ‘Edit Tweet’ option, you will land on a screen that looks like the page for composing new tweets. However, the ‘Tweet’ button is replaced by another button called ‘Update.’ Paluzzi’s post doesn’t show what the edit history looks like.
When asked by The Verge, Twitter refused to share any details, instead directing attention to the official Twitter handle of the communications department and the VP of Consumer Product, Jay Sullivan.
Twitter announced the feature on the 1st of April, a date many organizations decide to fool around corporately. However, before the company could officially announce, Elon Musk, who had just become the largest individual shareholder, made a poll on whether tweets should be editable. The majority responded in the affirmative. Twitter then made an official statement, clarifying the decision had been in motion for months and was not a result of Musk’s poll.
Since then, a lot has taken place between Twitter and Musk as the billionaire attempts a complete takeover. The Board has rejected his offer of $43 billion and has put in place measures to thwart Musk’s efforts.