We’re Really Not Getting an Edit Button on Twitter

Published on December 17, 2020

Anyone who has Twitter knows that its lack of an edit button can be really frustrating. Especially for a perfectionist, crafting a tweet only to find a glaring typo once it’s too late to take the tweet down is incredibly aggravating.

Twitter users often beg for edit buttons, tagging CEO Jack Dorsey in the replies to their typo-ed tweets.

I just want to be able to fix this typo. It should be “It’s”. Please Jack, let me fix this typo.
Twitter’s Editing Philosophy

In an interview with Wired, Dorsey said of the edit button feature:

“The reason there’s no edit button [and] there hasn’t been an edit button traditionally is we started as an SMS text messaging service, so as you all know, when you send a text, you can’t really take it back. We wanted to preserve that vibe and that feeling in the early days.”

In the past when Twitter discussed an edit button feature, the answers have been vague. This left users to wonder whether editing tweets will ever be an option. Dorsey’s answer, although disappointing for some, did clear up any confusion with a resounding no.

Dorsey affirms that the lack of an edit button is essential to the platform because it allows users to reply to tweets without fear that the original will later be altered. In the era of bots, misinformation, and contentious Twitter battles, it makes a certain amount of sense. However, it leaves users frustrated and faced with the decision of leaving up a tweet with minor errors or deleting it entirely.

Although Twitter is not giving users an edit button, it has rolled out a new feature allowing users to hide replies. It’s not the feature that users of the platform wanted, and it has had some unanticipated consequences in regard to the spread of misinformation. Seems like it might have been simpler to just do the edit button.

Olivia Smith is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in San Francisco, she covers events, entertainment, fashion, and technology. She also serves as a Voices contributor at PopSugar.

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