Twitter has crushed our dreams of an edit button, at least for now

Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour took to the stage at a press event in San Francisco to talk about product changes coming to the social media site. But he didn’t just come to talk about what was coming to the service, he also came to kill our dreams. The prospect of an edit button? I wouldn’t hold your breath for it. 

“Honestly, it’s a feature that I think we should build at some point, but it’s not anywhere near the top of our priorities,” Beykpour said, quoted by TechCrunch. “That’s the honest answer.”

The executive said that there were a lot of obvious risk factors when it comes to building the edit button. While it’s often joked about by Twitter users, many seem to want the feature so they can correct a typo or clarify a tweet with more context. However there’s potential for abuse, especially with the way that Twitter allows users to retweet tweets onto their own timeline. 

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This is especially problematic if you retweet a joke about a funny looking horse and, suddenly, the original user edits the tweet so that it is  post in support of say, white nationalism. It could thrust thousands of users into problematic situations. This isn’t the case for social networks like Facebook which has already added the button. So, there’s a technical and a social challenge here that Twitter needs to look into when they develop a feature that allows people to edit. 

Instead, we’re getting the ability to follow a topic in the same way that you might usually follow accounts. Whether or not this will make the hell site better or worse to use remains to be seen, but Twitter is overdue a few changes and they need to be structurally more significant than just an edit button to win over the many vocal critics of the platform. 

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