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Twitter is thinking about an edit button to fix typos in tweets

12 November 2018

From TNW:

For the first time since the end of 2016, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey shed some light on the company’s thoughts about building an edit button for tweets. Speaking at an event in India’s capital of New Delhi, he said that the company has to carefully consider use cases for the edit button before making it a reality – and it could potentially be tooled to help fix typos.

“You have to pay attention to what are the use cases for the edit button. A lot of people want the edit button because they want to quickly fix a mistake they made. Like a misspelling or tweeting the wrong URL. That’s a lot more achievable than allowing people to edit any tweet all the way back in time,” Dorsey said.

. . . .

He added that Twitter will ideally prevent unlimited editing, because then anyone could abuse the feature to alter their controversial or damning statements later on. Dorsey noted that the company wants to implement a solution that solves a problem and removes what “people see as friction in the service.”

Link to the rest at TNW

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5 Comments to “Twitter is thinking about an edit button to fix typos in tweets”

  1. “He added that Twitter will ideally prevent unlimited editing, because then anyone could abuse the feature to alter their controversial or damning statements later on.”

    Like TPV, five minutes is plenty of time. Heaven help them if they allow a ‘day’ or more.

    “alter their controversial”

    Just adding a couple xxx-‘n’t’ to things to change the meaning after others have responded will be great fun.

  2. Assuming the cost of storage is a non-issue, the best way would be to archive all versions of the tweet, and have follow-on tweats link to the earlier version, that was last read, (even if it had been edited by the time the replier had hit the submit button).

    The “dead” versions of any tweet can later be culled, if, after a period of time, no one is linking to them or commenting on them. These “dead” versions should not be made visible to anyone who does not already have the link, either because they copied the URL earlier, or because they clicked on a link in a replying tweet.

    The “easy” way to do this would be to place a UNIX epoch code to the tail of all tweets, current and old, (although, short-codes would probably always point to the current version of a tweet). The “safer” way would be to add a random element to that, only a few characters, as few as four, which is necessary to get to the epoch-time archived post, and to lock all archived messages for an account, for a period of time, if someone is guessing postfixes in an effort to find old tweets to complain about. This would be especially important, as anyone doing so is also putting excessive load on the Twitter servers, almost to the point of an old-style DOS attack.

    Whether or not government employee tweets, posted as an official communication of that agent, rather than as personal messages from personal accounts of individuals who just happen to work for the government, need to be preserved, for all time, in all versions, well, I’ll leave up to the regulators to decide.

  3. 99.9% of the editing is going to be grammar, misspellings, typos, etc. Why is it up to Twitter to PREVENT people from “altering their controversial or damning statements”? Doesn’t that mean those people realize that their word choice was poor? It’s as if they are just trying to stoke controversy.

    Twitter does know that most of the worst offenders are screenshotted, right? Like, most people outright delete the tweet by the time I hear that someone posted something offensive, controversial, or just plain sick. But I still somehow see it through that magic that is the screenshot.

    I mean, worst case, let us edit, but redline anything that was changed?

    • “99.9% of the editing is going to be grammar, misspellings, typos, etc.”

      No, we’ll also see it being used for damage control when someone mouths off and it goes viral. “But I didn’t say that!” will be the new normal. (Of course just being able to edit will also give us people ‘claiming’ someone said something – and that they supposedly then edited it.)

      Set it in stone, that way there’s a little less fake news to filter out.

  4. I long ago developed my own way to edit tweets. After posting and seeing a mistake, highlight and copy the content, delete the tweet then tweet the edited version. A bit clumsy but it works.

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