On April 1st, Twitter announced plans to add a new feature: the long-desired edit button.
While details of how this new feature will be implemented remain a mystery, the decision has sparked debate on the integrity of a tweet itself, free speech, and the potential nefarious activity that an edit button could permit.
It’s a familiar feeling of embarrassment: tweeting a funny quip or a hot take only to realize there is a soul-crushing typo in what could very quickly become a viral moment.
An edit button could fix that, forever eradicating typo shame.
But beyond fixing simple typos a moment or two after posting, many are concerned that the ability to alter the core meaning of an individual tweet could result in misinformation, disinformation, and chaos.
Transparency, safety, and the ethical concerns of public and free speech are being robustly discussed in the wake of this news.
If Twitter’s Head of Consumer Product is any indication, some people are taking a reactive stance to potentially dangerous behavior as a result of what seems on the surface like a simple and long-overdue feature.
If edit has been the most requested Twitter feature for years now, why is it only just being discussed?