The social media network Twitter reportedly plans to add a new “edit tweet” function to its website in the near future.
This would enable users to change tweets after they are published, according to information given to the website The Desk by three Twitter employees close to the project.
The sources said the function has been a top priority for Twitter for months, and is part of the website’s attempt to expand its partnerships with media organisations and producers of original content.
But in the fast paced world of social media, users will only be able to change their tweets for a limited amount of time that Twitter is yet to decide upon.
The “slight changes” it would allow users to make once on a tweet is published include: removing a word, correcting a typo or adding one or two additional words.
These alterations would then appear on the feed of anyone who had used the "re-tweet" button to relay the message.
Twitter will add the feature in the hope that it will stop tweets that include false information going viral, but without changing the original message. This is to ensure popular tweets are not changed to feature advertisements.
According to The Desk, Twitter’s engineers are still writing the algorithm, but it will be complete in “weeks, or months at the most”.
Once finished, a select few users - who are likely to be verified news organisations, celebrities and public officials - will be chosen to test the “edit” button.
However, creators admit that the feature would be lost on users who “manually retweet” by typing out a message preceded by “RT @” rather than clicking “retweet”. It would also not display whether the tweet had been edited, but sources said that this may be added in the future.
Users that could have benefited from the “edit” feature include National Public Radio who falsely reported the death of former US Representative Gabriel Giffords in 2011.