Adelaide: Most Twitter users have had this experience: you fire off a quick tweet, realize it contains a typo, and then get angry that you can’t click Edit to correct it. Twitter users have been asking for an edit button for years.
Elon Musk, who recently bought shares in the microblogging platform and made a $48 billion offer for the entire company, asked his 82 million followers if they wanted an edit button. His (deeply unscientific) poll received 4.4 million responses with 73% agreement.
Other social media platforms allow you to edit posts after you’ve sent them. It seems like an easy feature to add, so why doesn’t Twitter do it?
Well, the time might finally have come. Independent of Musk’s poll, Twitter has confirmed that an edit button may be in the works. Enterprising users have even dug up some clues as to what it might look like.
Also Read: TWITTER, ANALYSTS WARNANT OF TAKEOVER BID OF ELON MUSK
EXPLAINING: WHY ELON MUSK IS MAXIMUM FACING A TWITTER TAKEOVER
So what’s the point?
Why was Twitter so against an edit button? The answer might be that it’s not as simple as it seems.
The first thing to know about tweets is that unlike posts on many other platforms, there’s basically no way for Twitter to retract them after they’ve been sent. This is because Twitter has something called an Application Programming Interface (or API) that allows third parties like other apps or researchers to download tweets in real-time.
This is what powers Twitter clients like TweetDeck, TweetBot, Twitteriffic and Echofon, which together have around 6 million users.
Once third parties have downloaded tweets, there is no way for Twitter to get them back or edit them. It’s a bit like an email, once I’ve sent it and you’ve downloaded it, there’s no way for me to delete it from your computer.
If a user were to edit a tweet, the most Twitter could send was a message saying “Please edit this tweet,” but the third party could decide whether or not they actually want to do so. (This currently happens when tweets are deleted.)
cats and dogs
More importantly, an edit button could have unintended consequences and be used as a weapon.
Consider it. Me, a cat lover, decide to tweet I love cats!
Then, since you’re a cat lover too (why wouldn’t you be), you decide to quote my tweet and agree that I do too! (Remember when Twitter used to be so innocent?)
Now what happens if I edit my original tweet to explain that I love dogs? You are now misrepresented as a dog lover, and when your cat-loving friends see this (which they will do if I reply to your tweet and mention them all), they will disown you.
Yes, this is made up, but it doesn’t take much imagination to see how the edit button could be used in this way, especially by things like bot armies. Will Twitter users happily trade this ability for the convenience of correcting typos in their tweets?
Warts and all’: a bug or a feature?
Twitter has built its reputation on being the most real-time social media platform, reporting earthquakes faster than scientific instruments. However, to many people, the warts and overall nature of Twitter postings look more like a bug than a feature.
Will an edit button change Twitter’s unique brand? There may be ways to improve this, e.g. For example, only allowing changes within a short period of time after posting, but this is certainly a consideration for the company.
More generally, the design of media platforms shapes the type of discussion that takes place on them.
The presence of the “Like” and “Retweet” buttons on Twitter encourages users to create content that entices others to click on those buttons and to further spread their content. This, in turn, shapes the type of conversation that takes place on the platform.
Similarly, websites use algorithms and design to guide users in specific directions, such as buying a product.
There is a wealth of research on how discourse is shaped by social media platform design, proving that every offer made to a user affects the conversation that ultimately takes place.
This means that beyond the basic technological challenges, Twitter must think about the possible unintended consequences of seemingly simple changes, even at the level of a humble edit button. The medium shapes the message, and Twitter needs to think carefully about what kind of messages its platform should craft. (The conversation)
Read all Latest news, Trending News, Cricket News, Bollywood News,
India News and entertainment news here. follow us on facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
This article was previously published on Source link