the tweet beat

Twitter Still Won’t Let You Edit Tweets, But Might Let You Clarify Them

Jack Dorsey. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Let me just get something on the record right now. Twitter is never going to give you an edit button. No matter how much you tweet about it or complain about it or pray — if you’re into that — it’s just not going to happen. But during a Goldman Sachs event in San Francisco on Thursday, CEO Jack Dorsey revealed that the company is considering a feature that would let you “clarify” your tweets. He said, according to Recode:

How do we enable people to quickly go back or to any tweet, whether it be years back or today, and show that original tweet — kind of like a quote retweet, a retweet with comment — and to add some context and some color on what they might have tweeted or what they might have meant. By doing so you might imagine that the original tweet then would not have the sort of engagement around it. Like you wouldn’t be able to retweet the original tweet, for instance. You would just show the clarification, you would be able to retweet the clarification, so it always carries around with it that context. That’s one approach. Not saying that we are going to launch that but those are the sorts of questions we are going to ask.

So there’s a whole lot here but mostly … this just sounds like the same thing people can already do by replying to their original tweet with new tweets. Or quote tweeting their new tweets with additional information. Or, uh, deleting their original tweet and tweeting a new one saying, “hey, deleted the other tweet about X thing, here’s the deal.” The feature, if rolled out at all, would be tested with journalists and media folks, Recode also reports.

The thing about the much-requested edit button, for me at least, is that I don’t want it for major factual edits. For that I can do all the things I just described. Mostly I want it so that 60 seconds after I send a good — “good” — tweet and discover I’ve spelled something wrong I can fix it.

To recap: Twitter is not going to give you a damn edit button. It might give some of you a silly way to “clarify” what you said. (Assuming what you said wasn’t Justine Sacco–level bad.) And we should all stop asking for edit features in the first place and instead spend more time demanding Twitter work on its real problems. Harassment seems worse than my dumb typos.

Twitter Won’t Let You Edit Tweets, But Might Let You Clarify