One thing that’s set Twitter apart from other blogging services — other than the 140 character limit — is the lack of ability to change a post after it’s been published. That’s all about to change, though, as Twitter is reportedly planning to introduce an “edit” feature to its platform, which will allow its users to make limited changes to tweets. Sources tell The Desk that the project is currently in development, and could go live as soon as a couple of weeks from now. But don't think that means an unrestricted editing free-for-all — there will be significant restrictions on when and how users can edit their tweets after they’ve been posted.
Because Twitter is often used to break news, the company wants to give users the ability to correct or update tweets without having to delete and rewrite them. (This way, any retweets the post has received will remain in place.) However, the company is also concerned that this could provide opportunity for abuse: the fear is that unscrupulous tweeters might tweet some breaking news, accumulate retweets, and then replace the entire content of the tweet with an advertisement. And Twitter doesn’t want that.
Instead, the platform will reportedly only allow users to edit or add a couple of words maximum, and only within a certain amount of time from the initial publishing of the tweet. That way, tweeters can add an “unconfirmed” or “retracted” precursor to posts later found to contain misinformation. (That would have been handy in 2010, when NPR incorrectly tweeted that Representative Gabrielle Giffords had been killed.)
The feature will apparently be finished in “months at the most,” at which point Twitter will begin slowly rolling it out to select users.
Here's guessing we'll still be able to look forward to plenty of laughs and gaffes like these.