Twitter is working on edit button to let users fix errors in posts, company confirms

Twitter says it will approach feature with care and thoughtfulness as ‘protecting integrity of public conversation is our top priority’

Related: Elon Musk is now Twitter’s biggest shareholder

Twitter is working on an edit button that would allow users to fix typos and errors in posts, the company has confirmed, days after its largest shareholder Tesla chief Elon Musk polled his followers about the feature.

“Yes, we’ve been working on an edit feature since last year,” the social media giant tweeted early on Wednesday, adding that its earlier tweet on 1 April announcing ongoing work on the feature wasn’t a joke.

The company said it did not get the idea “from a poll,” hinting at Mr Musk’s Monday tweet asking whether his followers “want an edit button”.

Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s relatively new chief had quoted Mr Musk’s tweet and suggested changes could be on their way, adding that the consequences of the poll “will be important”.

“Please vote carefully,” Mr Agrawal said.

The latest statement comes after SpaceX and Tesla chief Mr Musk bought a large stake of almost 10 per cent in Twitter and will be joining the company’s board.

Twitter said it will be testing the edit feature in the coming months in Twitter Blue, its paid subscription service, to “learn what works, what doesn’t, and what’s possible.”

The majority of Mr Musk’s poll respondents – about 74 per cent – voted “yes”, for an edit button.

But Twitter said on Wednesday that it did not get the idea for an edit button from the poll, and that it had been working on the function since last year.

Jay Sullivan, Twitter’s head of consumer products, said the company was aware the feature “could be misused to alter the record of the public conversation”.

“Protecting the integrity of public conversation is our top priority when we approach this work,” Mr Sullivan said.

He added that the company would “take time” and actively seek input and adversarial thinking before launching the feature.

“Edit has been the most requested Twitter feature for many years. People want to be able to fix (sometimes embarrassing) mistakes, typos and hot takes in the moment. They currently work around this by deleting and tweeting again,” Mr Sullivan said.

“We will approach this feature with care and thoughtfulness and we will share updates as we go,” he added.

The feature has remained contentious among the platform’s users as it may cause confusion if a widely shared tweet is later edited to contain contradictory information.

In 2020, Twitter’s co-founder and then chief Jack Dorsey dismissed calls for an edit button, saying “we’ll probably never do it”.

He shared concerns about how such a feature would work if any content is retweeted as it may completely change the meaning of what was originally shared.

While there were considerations for a one-minute or 30-second window to allow people to fix spelling errors or broken links, he said the company may not do it.

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