Update: Twitter informed users that it is working to make the long-awaited edit button a reality on its platform. They said that this feature had been in the works since last year, and is not the result of Musk’s latest poll.
The edit button will not be coming immediately to the platform and will be tested within Twitter Blue Labs in the coming months, the company said. Jay Sullivan, head of consumer products at Twitter, said that the feature could be misused to alter the record of a public conversation on the popular micro-blogging site, and protecting its integrity will be Twitter’s top priority while approaching the edit button feature. He added that it will take time, and the company will actively seek input and adversarial thinking while advancing with the feature.
Barely a day after regulatory filings revealed his 9.2% stake in Twitter, Elon Musk has sprung into action, and back on his favourite medium — Twitter. The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla posted a poll on the platform — again his usual decision-making medium — asking users whether they wanted an edit button to come to Twitter or not.
For those with little to no Twitter presence, Twitter does not allow users to edit their tweets. So once a user posts something on a popular micro-blogging site, it will stay there, unchanged, unless the user deletes it and posts a new one.
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had splashed water on the hopes of an edit button as he said that Twitter would “probably never” bring the edit button to its platform. But when the pandemic was at its height, the official account of Twitter tweeted that users can have an edit button when everyone wears a mask.
In a more recent development, the company tweeted on April 1 (April Fool’s Day) that they were working on the button, and refused to confirm or deny if it was an April Fool’s joke. Nobody can argue that people don’t want the feature to come to Twitter if the fact that the tweet has over 1.3 million likes and 118.4K retweets is any indication. “We may edit our statement later,” the company said.
Musk’s antics with Twitter do not come surprising, even though it has landed him in trouble with the SEC earlier.
Just a week ago, he said that he was giving “serious thought” to the creation of a new social media platform that would consist of an open-source algorithm, prioritize free speech, and with “very” minimal propaganda. He posted a poll on Twitter, asking his followers whether they believed that Twitter adhered to the principle of free speech, which said is “essential to a functioning democracy.”
Over 70% of users voted “No.”
Soon after that poll, Musk became the largest shareholder of Twitter by buying a stake of 9.2% (73,486,938 shares) worth nearly $3 billion. Now, the poll asked his followers whether his followers wanted an edit button.
“Do you want an edit button?” Musk asked, offering the options “yse” and “on” as a reference to the typos we often make while typing.
76% of nearly 8, 00, 000 users voted “Yes,” and Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal quote-tweeted the poll.