Twitter confirms it is finally getting an edit button - and now people don't want it

The feature, which has been the social media site's most requested for several years, is currently being tested

Twitter will begin testing the edit button within its paid subscription product Twitter Blue. AFP
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Twitter has finally confirmed the news its loyal fans have been waiting years for — it’s working on an edit button.

It comes after the social media site’s newest and now largest shareholder, Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, posted a poll on Tuesday asking if people would like to see an edit button — in which 73.6 per cent of respondents said yes.

However, in a post on Tuesday, Twitter said it had been working on an edit button since 2021, and would begin testing it within its paid subscription product, Twitter Blue, in the coming months.

Announcing the news, Twitter’s head of product, Jay Sullivan, said it had been the company’s most requested feature for several years, but also warned of the potential for misuse if it did not come with the appropriate controls.

Elon Musk will join Twitter's board of directors, after buying a major stake in the company. AFP

Sullivan said that “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”.

“Protecting the integrity of that public conversation is our top priority when we approach this work,” he said. “We will approach this feature with care and thoughtfulness and we will share updates as we go.”

However, despite people requesting the change for years, the news of the impending update has been met with mixed reactions, with many suggesting the cons outweigh the pros.

Twitter user Alec Sears wrote: “You do not want an edit button on Twitter. Chaos will ensue when Journos are able to edit their bad takes at any time with 0 consequences.”

Another user, Bianca Gonzalez, agreed, writing: “Unpopular opinion: @Twitter shouldn't have an edit button. So many implications on responsibility, accountability.. if edits need to be made, there is always the delete button and/or erratum posts.”

The Guardian’s technology correspondent, Alex Hern, however, said he didn’t necessarily believe that’s how it would be used. “’If we had an edit button, people would be able to correct falsehoods in viral tweets’ is such nonsense, as though anyone on Twitter has ever wanted to correct falsehoods in their viral tweets,” he wrote.

Another user, Tola, said: “I think one of the things that makes Twitter such a credible source of information is that there is no edit button that allows a person [to] go and change their words after they have posted it. Words + Time stamp + Author. I think it should stay!”

However, others were happy to hear that the feature was in the works.

“The social media manager's dream of an edit button on Twitter could finally come true!” one user wrote.

“It’s about damn time,” another user said.

Many people also joked about how the announcement was made after Musk’s poll, and on the same day it was announced he would join the board of the company, a day after he bought a 9.2 per cent stake for $2.9 billion.

“As if Elon Musk spent $3 billion for an edit button,” one user wrote.

Updated: April 06, 2022, 11:44 AM