Twitter boss Jack Dorsey considers edit button – again

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Twitter (PA/Andrew Matthews)

Twitter boss Jack Dorsey has talked about the possibility of adding an edit button to the social network in the future, but only when he is sure that such an option can be done in the right way to prevent abuse.

Speaking at an event in Indian capital New Delhi, the chief executive said that the long-requested edit button is something the company has considered for a while, but warned of the potential pitfalls.

One of the main reasons users have called for an edit feature is to correct mistakes – at present, errors in tweets either have to be left on the site, or the entire post has to be deleted and then posted again.

“We’ve been considering edit for quite some time but we have to do it the right way, we can’t just rush it out,” Mr Dorsey said.

“A lot of people want edit because they make mistakes on Twitter and they want to quickly fix them – they don’t want to look bad.

“So, I misspelled something or I tweeted the wrong URL and I want to correct it. That’s a lot more achievable than allowing people to edit any tweet, all the way back in time.”

The social network’s co-founder explained that one of the concerns with an edit button was how it could be used to distort the original tweet’s meaning, especially tricky when factoring in retweets.

“If I tweet something that you agree with and then you retweet that, and then I edit my tweet to something that you disagree with, you’ve now retweeted something that you disagree with, and that’s what we need to prevent,” he continued.

“There’s a bunch of things that we could do to show a change log and show how a tweet has been changed, and we’re looking at all this stuff but ultimately we need to make sure that we are solving a real problem and solving a use case that people are seeing as friction within the service and making that easy for people to do.”

Before Twitter users get too excited, it’s worth noting that Mr Dorsey previously hinted that it was mulling over the idea of an edit function back in 2016.

However, the company itself recently tweeted that it had “noted” requests for the feature, in response to a tweet from make-up YouTuber Jeffree Star.

Chris Price