Editing Tweets

Why this should never be allowed, and the reason so many people want it.

Posted August 6th 2017 by


I am absolutely against the feature to #edittweets until I look back on a tweet that needs some revision. However, unlike other social media platforms, Twitter is use very heavily for deep discussions, political discussions, and often, very often, heated discussions. Today, government policy is #tweeted as the new norm for dissemination. As such, @Twitter has it right not to allow the editing of tweets and here is why.

Why Twitter Should Never Allow Tweet Editing

If Twitter allowed for editing, then the thread of conversation would be compromised.

Scenario One

Let’s say someone tweeted a typo. Ok, fix it and move on, no harm done.

Scenario Two

Someone tweets something that is controversial and then after many comments changes it to Mikey Mouse is my favorite Disney character. Ok, no real harm done and everyone knows the tweet was changed and has no further meaning to the thread.

Scenario Three

But what if someone just changes a word or two which changes the meaning of the tweet? You have hundreds or thousands of comments that now seem really dumb or worse, ad hominem to the tweeter, when the reply could have been a valid argument to the original post. It degrades the integrity.

Scenario Four

You have a button that allows everyone to see the edits made to a tweet. However, this is just as bad as leaving a bad tweet up in the first place.

Scenario Five

You can only edit a tweet if no like, retweets, or comments have been made. Ok, I can see this option, sure. This would not help those who, within seconds, have likes and retweets. I do see this as a possible compromise by Twitter to allow this feature.

The REALLY bad side to allowing tweet edits

Likes & Retweets. What if you liked a tweet or retweeted it and then someone changes that tweet to something you don’t agree with? Now there is a record of you endorsing a tweet you had no intention on endorsing. This is VERY dangerous and the most important reason not to allow tweet editing. People would stop using twitter within a week. Even if there was software to monitor changed tweets, who is going to have the time to review every comment, retweet, or like of changed tweets. That would get overwhelming quick.

Deleted Tweet 301 Redirect [new 07-07-17]

I suggest that when you need to recreate your tweet, you can delete the old tweet with the option to forward to the updated tweet. This way that old tweet, which currently shows This Tweet is unavailable, will have a link to the new tweet. Now people won't lose the conversation.

Closing

We all make typos, I make most of them (mostly because I forget to add #hashtags). Either I need to take my time and be a better tweeter, or I need to delete the tweet and create a new one. This has the most integrity. Sure, very popular people will have hundreds of likes and retweets before they catch their typo, however, this is not a strong enough case to create a horrible blackhole of integrity within Twitter.

What are your thoughts on tweet editing? Should Twitter allow it, or continue to reject this feature request? Please share on Twitter and use hashtags #Twitter2017 #TweetEditing #EditingTweets.


UPDATE

Casey Newton wants versioning?
I propose that likes and retweets simply live with each individual version of tweet. For simplicity’s sake, the timeline could show the aggregate number of engagements. But were you to click in, you would see that 99 percent of the likes and tweets belonged to the puppy, and 1 percent belonged to the picture of the president. In this way, Twitter could discourage a small minority from trolling their followers, while granting the large majority a service afforded to the users of nearly every other internet text box.
Casey solves nothing by wanting to add a huge maintenance issue, while letting the typo still live on forever. Now every tweet version has to be maintained and if I follow someone to a tweet thread, I have investigate which tweet edit brought me there and if it is the most current.

Again, this still does not remove the typo, so why drastically increase the complexity to fix nothing? Twitter is fast, this will slow it down needlessly.

Join the conversation here.

If you would like to collaborate with me on this or any other project, please contact me.

Thank you for reading!


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