One of the things I’ve commended Twitter for is its hesitancy to implement an edit button on its platform. There are sensible concerns over what would happen if people would be able to edit Twitter posts—especially influential posts that have gained traction. But it looks like Twitter is actually testing it out, and I blame Elon Musk.
Twitter user Dylan Roussel noted that the platform is testing out an “Edit Tweet” button for certain users. However, it doesn’t seem like it works just yet.
According to Roussel, “Edit Tweet” should be there amongst the other options like “Change who can reply” and “Pin to profile” for each of your crafted tweets. However, it has not shown up yet on my own account… not that I’m all for it yet.
An edit button on Twitter is the subject of many debates. People argue that it could also be used to make substantial changes to popular posts. A user could revise a tweet after it has gone viral, completely altering the meaning and misleading other users.
Other social media platforms had to learn it the hard way. For example, Tumblr faced a similar problem when author John Green’s post went viral after someone edited his original post to something unsavoury. The post has since been deleted, but it resulted in Tumblr taking away users’ rights to edit posts after they’ve been posted.
When Elon Musk recently attempted to buy Twitter, he also brought up his interest in an edit button. However, when he was asked about the consequences of having said edit button, it looked like he stumbled.
Having an edit button isn’t Musk’s only wish. He said that he wanted to buy Twitter to implement “free speech around the globe”. But I think it just sounds like he wants the platform to be a place where people can say things without consequence. Twitter has previously suspended users like Donald Trump for “severe violations”. Musk’s recent remarks has even brought out Trump supporters to support Musk’s potential buyout, hoping that Musk would “reinstate Donald Trump’s Twitter account“.
However, it looks like Twitter is caving into Musk in some sort of way—by testing out a feature that Musk wants. Hopefully, if they were to introduce an edit button, the platform would at least make it clear to everyone which posts have been edited.