Twitter is testing the edit button as experts warn it could be misused


Finally, Twitter is testing one of its most requested features: the edit button.

The social media company announced Thursday that employees are internally testing the ability to edit a tweet shortly after it is posted. The feature will expand this month to subscribers of Twitter’s premium service, called Twitter BlueAnd the First in New Zealand and then in Australia, Canada and the United States.

When, or if, it will be extended to the rest of Twitter’s 230 million users is uncertain.

Not everyone wants an edit button, and the feature is already eliciting backlash. Some experts have warned that the edit button can be used to spread misinformation, or to edit a tweet that has already been widely shared, and turn it into a different message.

Twitter said it will add a label to edited tweets that will allow users to click and see the history of the tweet and its changes.

The feature has other limitations. Tweets can only be edited within the first 30 minutes after being posted, and will be labeled with an icon to let others know that the Tweet has been changed.

The company wrote in Blog post. “This includes how people can abuse the feature. You can never be too careful.”

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Rachel Tobak, ethical hacker and CEO of SocialProof Security, provided a hypothetical example of how the feature goes awry.

“Someone would tweet something saying, ‘These two famous people just started dating,'” she said. Fifteen to 20 minutes later, they went in and changed that into a crypto scam, a phishing link, misinformation to vote.”

This is particularly dangerous on Twitter because of the service’s influential audience and fast-moving dynamics, Tupac added, noting that false tweets are known to move markets within minutes or even seconds.

While she said she appreciates Twitter’s efforts to build precautions for the editing feature, she expects the harm will outweigh the benefits.

“I don’t think we need to add another potential misinformation feature that could be abused before the next election cycle.”

Tracy Chu, CEO of tech startup Block Party and an expert on online harassment, said she shares the concern that people will take advantage of the mod feature, but is cautiously optimistic about the company’s approach to implementing it so far.

Choosing that classifying tweets as edited and showing their edit history is “stakes in the table” for a responsible editing feature, while the time limit for edits can at least help mitigate the potential for tweets to be maliciously reviewed after they’ve already gone viral.

She also said that limiting its use to users who pay would be “a good way to limit it to people who do.” truly want it.”

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Twitter confirmed This year it has been working on the edit button since last year after billionaire Elon Musk Tweet Poll He asks if people want the feature. More than 73 percent of respondents said yes.

Some advocates have also called for Twitter accessibility to give users the ability to add text descriptions of images – known as “alt text” – to tweets after they’ve been posted. This will allow blind people and others to understand tweets with visuals using technology that reads these descriptions aloud.

This will be possible in the editing feature the company is testing, Twitter spokesperson Shauki Amdo said, although users will have to remove the image and re-upload it to the tweet to add alt text. Amdo confirmed that this means that the editing feature will allow users to add or change photos and videos attached to a Tweet, as well as the text.

Suggest to introduce the feature first It comes to Twitter Blue subscribers as Twitter looks for ways to earn additional revenue amid a downturn in digital advertising, which makes up the lion’s share of its revenue. Twitter ad revenue growth stalled in the last quarter.

Twitter even explored developing a feature that would allow adult content creators to charge for subscriptions to the platform, with Twitter truncation, before the project was halted amid concerns about child exploitation.

When asked if the edit button will remain a paid feature on Twitter Blue in the long run, Amdo did not respond directly, but said that understanding “what would happen if we gave it to everyone” was part of its test point on a smaller group.

Twitter has had a tough year, both in the stock market and internally after Musk launched a hostile $44 billion takeover of the company. Submit later to finalize the deal. Twitter and Musk are now embroiled in a lawsuit over the deal, which is due to go to trial in October.

Last week, the Washington Post reported that the company’s former security chief, Peter Zatko, filed a whistleblower complaint with regulators, alleging the company had lax security practices. Twitter responded to the allegations.

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