A reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong has disclosed that using Twitter’s upcoming edit button could leave a digital trace of your tweet’s history. Manchun Wong explains this discovery via a tweet, the reverse engineer explains that the edit function appears to have an “immutable” quality and when a tweet is edited, that means Twitter may create an entirely new tweet while maintaining a preserved version of the previous tweet.
Manchun says “Looks like Twitter’s approach to Edit Tweet is immutable, as in, instead of mutating the Tweet text within the same Tweet (same ID), it re-creates a new Tweet with the amended content, along with the list of the old Tweets prior of that edit.”
Though it’s unclear how an edited tweet will appear to users for now the fact remains that if Twitter decides to make tweet history public, it’s as a result of trying to address potential abuse of the feature. Critics believe that the edit feature could be used to alter the public record and mislead users.
An app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi has also tweeted screenshots of what may appear to be the new feature. The aim of the tweet is to give us a glimpse of what the edit button might actually look like when it eventually goes live on Twitter. In one screenshot, Paluzzi revealed that the “Edit Tweet” option could appear in the three-dot menu on the right side of your tweets.
According to The Verge, selecting the button leads you to a screen that looks much like the regular tweet composer, only it’s pre-filled with your tweet’s text and says “Update” in the bottom right corner (instead of “Tweet”). Paluzzi’s screenshots don’t show an option to view a tweet’s edit history, however, Twitter has yet to confirm the presence of a tweet history tracker. “Nothing else to share at the moment beyond what is in this Tweet from @TwitterComms and this Tweet from @JaySullivan, VP of Consumer Product,” Twitter spokesperson Anna Hubatsch said in a response statement.
Twitter hinted to the public about working on the edit button after a seeming joke about the feature on April Fools’ Day. But before Twitter’s official confirmation was received by the public, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had conducted a poll with his followers on the inclusion of an edit button. This was after Musk had disclosed becoming Twitter’s largest shareholder following a purchase of a 9.2 per cent stake in Twitter. Ever since the announcement, it’s been a whirlwind of events for Twitter with Musk’s refusal to join Twitter’s board of directors and afterwards offering to buy the entire company. Reports say Twitter shareholders are currently on a measure that attempts to ultimately block the Billionaire from the Twitter buyout.