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The anticipated Twitter Edit button is said to pose a threat to the preservation of public documents on the platform. As of now, there’s still no clear or official statement from the Twitter team on what this feature can do. However, according to a technology blogger and app researcher, Jane Manchun Wong, the button will possess a useful characteristic that will help combat the misuse of the editing function: a tweet history.
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
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 16, 2022
In a tweet by the feature hunter, it is said that the Edit button will make the tweets “immutable” or unchanged in terms of the ID. “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,” Wong explains in the post.
With this distinct characteristic, the concern about the possibility of the edit functionality being misused by the users can be addressed. The tweet can be edited, but the original post will be preserved. The visibility of the edit history, however, remains unclear. If it would be just like what Facebook has, where the Edit History box is accessible for all users, the concerns and issues revolving around it might end.
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) April 15, 2022
Meanwhile, Alessandro Paluzzi, who previously debunked the Twitter Collaboration feature, posted an image showing the location where users can access the Edit button. According to the leaked photo, the feature is found within the three-dot menu of the tweet, where it will join other options already available on the platform. Once clicked or tapped, a tweet composer will appear, but it will be filled with the tweet you want to edit instead of clear space. Then, you can tap “Update” to implement the changes. Paluzzi’s post, nonetheless, doesn’t show an option to view the history of the edited tweets.
It can be recalled that Jay Sullivan, VP of consumer product at Twitter, said that the team has “been exploring how to build an Edit feature in a safe manner since last year.” Despite admitting that it has been the most requested Twitter feature for many years now, Sullivan is also clear about the possibility of it being misused.
“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,” Sullivan’s tweet reads. “Protecting the integrity of that public conversation is our top priority when we approach this work. Therefore, it will take time and we will be actively seeking input and adversarial thinking in advance of launching Edit. We will approach this feature with care and thoughtfulness and we will share updates as we go. This is just one feature we are exploring as we work to give people more choice and control over their Twitter experience, foster a healthy conversation, and help people be more comfortable on Twitter. These are the things that motivate us every day.”
From the follow-up post of Wong, it is revealed what the Edit History screen will look like. This will allow users to access the edit logs and see the changes made by the author.
Twitter is working on Edit History screen for Tweet Edits pic.twitter.com/NWOkaByld8
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 20, 2022
Meanwhile, here is a new video of the Edit button in action:
— Nima Owji (@nima_owji) April 16, 2022