“The best things in life come free. For example, your neighbor’s wife” Tweeted someone. He actually meant WiFi but instead typed the wrong word. Probably because of autocorrecting. Now, he is afraid of seeing his neighbors.
Don’t you hate it when this happens to you too? You would have to delete the post and pray that no one had seen it already. Then post a new one with the correct spelling and grammar. But, if you noticed the mistake too late, deleting would not be as easy. The likes and conversations sparked by the post would be lost. Depending on your tweet, that could sometimes be a good thing, sometimes not.
Growing Twitter Followers Ask For The Edit Button
The biggest problem lies when your tweet appears offensive because of using the wrong word or constructing the sentence wrong. Twitter users are notorious for “canceling” people. So, you may become a victim or target of the cancel culture. With one lousy tweet, your reputation could be destroyed.
The other route is to live with it. You could explain in replies or retweets or hope that Twitter users are smart enough to know that it’s a typo. Either way, it is a hassle. Having a growing number of Twitter Followers is important for all Twitter users, so the edit button is something that could avert a disaster.
The only way this problem can be solved is through an edit button. With it, users can quickly correct the mistakes. There would be no need to delete and repost and no need to explain. So, Twitter users have been asking for a Twitter edit button for years now.
However, Twitter’s answer has always been this: “No!”
Jack Dorsey On Twitter Edit Button
Twitter’s top competitor Facebook already has an edit button. Instagram, which Facebook owns, also has it. The button is also present in Tumblr, Medium, and even Slack. Still, the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, has repeatedly declined the request for an edit button. In a past statement, he said that it would ruin Twitter’s real-time, stream-of-consciousness nature.
On a Q&A video in the YouTube channel Wired, the question was once again brought up. Jack Dorsey gave a faint smile and answered, “No.”
He expands by saying that Twitter started as an SMS, text service. Texts have an uneditable nature. Once you send them, you cannot take them back. Twitter wants that characteristic to be preserved.
Jack notes that he understands the benefits of having an edit button. He acknowledges that users can use it to fix typos or broken links. However, he also notes that it also has malicious applications. For example, users can use it to edit content to mislead people. Some Twitter users agree with this. They say that a wholesome Tweet could get a ton of likes and retweets. If those posts were edited to something offensive, the personality of the ones who liked and retweeted would be questioned. They could appear as racist, sexist, and many more just because they got baited. So, Jack Dorsey says there are considerations for the button to be added. But, there is a higher probability that Twitter will never do it. It does not strike Twitter as a feature that is worth it.
Twitter’s Life Advice
There are too many tweets asking for an edit button. Despite that, Twitter refuses to budge on its stance. To answer the crying users, the Twitter official account gave a piece of life advice. “You don’t need an edit button,” it said. “-you just need to forgive yourself.”
That is synonymous with saying “live with it.” Of course, many Twitter users were dismayed. If there is something good that came out of that tweet, it is entertainment.
Several famous personalities and brands have replied to the tweet. Some sided with Twitter’s decision, while some joked about the “forgiveness” message. Nevertheless, it sparked a hilarious conversation.
Argentine footballer Juan Manuel Lucero humorously called Twitter the new Dalai Lama because of its life advice.
Meanwhile, Adobe Photoshop did a shameless self-promote. The account replied, “Forgive, but never forget you can always photoshop it.” Grammarly, the cloud-based writing assistant, on the other hand, understands how bad typos are. So, it replied, “Forgive, then edit.”
Twitter Followers Increase Faster With Editing Abilities
Uno, the card game, also sided with the pro-edit button Twitteratis. Its reply said, “SKIP this nonsense.”
Managers were also dragged into the fray. Opera jokingly replied, “I might, but my manager might not. We usually just call it a ‘typo.'” Meanwhile, Casey Newton, writer at platformer, made a snarky remark. He said he doesn’t need to forgive himself. Instead, Twitter needs a product manager. American actor Chris Messina replied with a gif of a shocked Howie Mandel.
As it was, the thread was already full of funny replies. But, Twitter stole the show when it also started replying. It engaged in friendly banter, not only with the popular ones but also with lesser-known individuals.
One account with the username Zero Gravity said that Twitter had said something controversial yet so brave. Twitter put a hilarious reply that used the common caption, “woke up confident.”
Then, a user who goes by the username Grav asked what if he can’t forgive himself. Twitter gave a straightforward answer. It said, “then embrace the typos.”
There is a way for you to edit your tweets. You can subscribe to Twitter Blue. However, that requires you to pay a little bit of money.
On Twitter Blue, there is a function called “Undo Tweet.” It is not precisely an edit button, but it’s close. After posting your Tweet, you will be given a preview. Under a small amount of time, you can click the Undo button. That will allow you to edit typos and errors before the tweet goes live. What that means is you can alter the post before anyone can see it.
This feature has glaring limitations. It does not change the fact that once it has been on Twitter, what is said is set in stone. Obviously, Twitter is still keeping the SMS’s unchangeable nature. Still, this is better than nothing.
Unfortunately, this also confirms that Twitter will never give users an edit button. That case is at least for non-paying users. If users have to pay for something like the Undo button, there is no way that they will give editing for free.
Twitter’s New Edit Button and Digital Services Act
For many years now, social media networks have been places where public conversations occur. People have been using sites like Facebook and Twitter for socialization. On these sites, they can speak to friends, family members, acquaintances, and even strangers. With just one post or Tweet, they can reach out to people with similar interests and converse with them. Likewise, people with businesses can use social media to attract prospects. In general, social media platforms are places on the internet where people can practice their freedom of speech. On these sites, they can express whatever comes to their minds.
However, there is still a limit to what they can post on the platforms. Statements that are promoting negative behavior, and the people posting them, are considered problematic. Examples are bullying, hate speech, and discrimination. While these are significant issues, they are still minor cases compared to activities that are outright illegal. For instance, researchers found that the illicit wildlife trade is happening on Facebook and so are sales of illicit drugs and substances.
Social media networks have imposed rules and banned this type of content on their websites. Still, they happen. It seems like the actions done by these networks are not enough. Primarily, they focused on removing posts that are already there and not on preventing more from being put out. So, no matter how much they have taken down, the illegal activities never cease.
Digital Services Act on Twitter Followers
Part of this is because most social media websites allow users to self-regulate. They decide whether their content is malicious or not. For the most part, social media networks will only see them once they are reported or flagged by other users.
Policymakers and legislators say that social media networks are exerting minimal efforts regarding the issues. They are not doing enough. Also, they believe that what causes this behavior is the lack of laws that govern social media sites and web services. If only a law that will make them accountable for what is posted on their site exists, they will be forced to act more.
The European Commission does not want to play “what-ifs.” So, they have taken the issue into their own hands. On December 15, 2020, they submitted a legislative proposal to the European Parliament and the European Council.
The Digital Service Act (DSA) aims to improve content moderation on social media platforms to address concerns about illegal content. It will require these platforms to do immediate actions once illegal content is flagged. Not doing so will risk fines of up to 6% on their annual turnover.
Twitter and Other Sites’ Reactions
Aside from taking down content, social media platforms gained new obligations under DSA. They are required to disclose to regulators how their algorithms work, how they decide which content needs takedown and how advertisers target users.
It is also worth remembering that this set of rules will be applied only to platforms that have more than 45 million users in the European Union. That includes Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and TikTok.
Without a doubt, the intentions behind this act are pure. They want to make the internet, specifically social media platforms, to be safer. It is for the sake of the people.
However, the platforms, along with the European Digital Rights, fear the adverse effects that could come out of this. The way it works, DSA’s substantial illegal content removal requirements can incentivize companies that remove all flagged content. That is regardless if they are actually illegal or not. Twitter, Vimeo, and other companies say that this will negatively impact freedom of speech and expression.
Twitter and Other Companies’ Open Letter
On Wednesday, Twitter Public Policy published on their blog a letter they co-wrote with Automattic, Vimeo, Jodel, and Seznam.cz. This is a follow-up to the letter they published last December, written by them, Twitter, Vimeo, Automattic, and Mozilla. In the letters, they pushed back against EU rules on illegal online content.
The company says they welcome the maintenance of a prohibition on general monitoring and the legislative focus on illegal content. However, their opinion about the DSA undermining freedom of expression has not changed. They suggest that the DSA should shift to encouraging informed and deliberate decision-making on content. That is as opposed to imposing overreaching notice and takedown requirements that would incentivize risk-averse removal of content.
The companies also cited what the European Digital Rights (EDRi) has noted. It says that it is impossible to determine the legality of every single piece with certainty. That is because millions of content are published every day. It is unfair to punish a company for not being able to do so. So, under DSA’s rules, they will be forced to remove all flagged content without even looking.
The companies suggest that a more nuanced approach would be in the best interests of the regulator, companies, and the users. Currently, DSA is making Europe a more challenging business environment for companies of all sizes. As a result, it prevents the growth of smaller companies that are already struggling to keep up with larger competitors. They pointed in the letter that content policies affect or shape the marketplace. In its current form, DSA eliminates competition and consumer choice as a way of shaping platform behavior. It is doing that in favor of having a few heavily regulated entities. That is a rigorous and not healthy environment.
So, the companies encourage regulators to include additional flexibility for deliberation. At the same time, they should place more focus on business structure and incentives. Like before, the companies said a better tactic would be to limit the number of people who encounter harmful content. It can be done by providing meaningful user choice and setting limits to the discoverability of harmful content. Supporting measures towards algorithmic transparency and control will also be a good idea.
Both parties aim for the welfare of the people. So, let us hope they find a way to meet halfway.