Is the (finally) announced introduction of an “Edit” button really a good idea?

The survey launched by Elon Musk, when he became the first shareholder of Twitter at the beginning of the year, did he push the thinking leaders of the social network to launch the experiment of the “Edit” button? Sea Serpent almost since its inception, the implementation of this feature seems to have finally won the game, even though founder Jack Dorsey, former CEO, claimed in 2021 to Wired that the introduction of a tool to edit tweets after they are posted is “probably not going to happen”.

We have been talking about this since 2013, when the main competitor at the time, Facebook, made this option possible. American journalist Matthew Keys, based in Northern California, not far from Silicon Valley, said in an article: “Twitter is developing a new feature that could allow users to edit their tweets in once published, the information confirmed by three sources close to the project” . He was just nine years ahead.

Experiment with Twitter Blue but not in France

At the beginning of September, Twitter officially announced the launch of the “Edit” button experiment for several months inside, and its imminent availability for users of the paid version, Twitter Blue. It currently allows you to change your tweets multiple times within 30 minutes of their publication. The bluebird network also clarified that edited tweets will be accompanied by symbols that clearly indicate that the original post has been corrected. And it will be possible to access earlier versions of the message. For Twitter, this should help “protect the integrity of the conversation” and “allow everyone to see what was said”.

Mathieu Flaig, analyst of topics related to digital transformations and user of the network since 2008, uses Twitter Blue, launched in June 2021. He uses a VPN to get this premium version which is only available in the United States, Canada, Australia and New -Zealand. “The features are not revolutionary but still quite different: I have 20 seconds after sending to verify my tweet. For example, I happened to write “complement” instead of “complete”. I was able to cancel, modify, send again. If no version with a shell appears. »

Twitter, a network apart

As Emmanuelle Patry, social network specialist and founder of Social Media Lab, says, Twitter is “a social network with high potential for virality and high organic visibility”. It’s in real time, and there are almost no filters. “Anyone can go and comment on any information because in general, all posts are made public and can be found through the appropriate search”, added Mathieu Flaig. This is also what makes Twitter original and unique. “Everyone can have an influence on a subject, come out of TT (trending topics). It is often compared to the agora, especially in the political world, because everyone can freely express themselves there,” added Emmanuelle Patry.

Moreover, the return to the news of this “Edit” button has given rise to many debates in 280 characters. “Aren’t we limiting this button to some kind of correction? Aren’t we setting up a certain period in which it is possible to correct? If the tweet was posted an hour ago, can I still edit it? How visible is the fact that the tweet was edited? “, can we notice in the tweets tagged #EditTwitter. Because depending on the parameters, the risks are different. The social network expert is campaigning for “a written and readable mention” This tweet has been- edit. See previous versions. »

The dangers of deviations

According to him, the most important risk concerns large accounts, “those with very strong and very fast commitments, because they have the greatest power to spread information”. By allowing the modification of a tweet that is widely transmitted, or even taken on a larger scale than Twitter, in the media for example, a person exposes himself to a total change of meaning, to the loss of its content, or at that. the initial information sent becomes out of date, or even incorrect. A new challenge in the face of misinformation.

“So imagine that her influencer agency star Magali Berdah’s tendonitis story is a tweet and not a video. With the “Edit” button, he clearly changed the meaning and made obsolete all the tweets contradicting his words,” Mathieu Flaig compared. However, the virality of a tweet, such as today’s video of the pope of the Shauna Event, is due to the absurdity of the statement, which could be “You’re a woman and you don’t have shampoo? No but hello, what! said Nabilla.

“To limit the risk of drift, Twitter can only make this button accessible to certified accounts or those who pay a premium subscription, Mathieu Flaig offers. Let people who use it show the their credentials”. A way to find out who is behind each account through the communication of personal information such as name or bank details, unlike fake accounts, AI and bots that focus on complained Elon Musk, especially.

Lost Twitter DNA?

But one question remains: even though this feature has been requested for a long time, won’t it make Twitter lose its DNA? Because typos, undesirable formulations, mistakes, are an important part of this very unique social network. With the “Edit” button, no Donald Trump “covféfé”. “This button is an Arlesian from Twitter. And finally, a typo in a tweet, it’s not terrible: it happened to me for a message that was retweeted 5,000 times, Mathieu Flaig said again .I’m a little irritated, I feel bad compared to others, gives a neglected side”. Although usually, only the author of the message knows that he put -é- instead of -er-.

And if finally, the “Edit” button remains in the experimental stage? “Possibly, it won’t be the first on social media,” the analyst said. This is the case with Fleets, the stories on Twitter”. They did not last long: available from November 2020, they were decommissioned in August 2021. Because this method of communication, so important to the Meta group, especially on Instagram, did not even attract the twittersphere. “Twitter remains a platform that can be adapted as desired,” concludes Mathieu Flaig. Finally, following Elon Musk…

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