Twitter announced a long-awaited feature last week — the ability to edit tweets. The company said that once the feature is available, users will be able to edit their tweets up to 30 minutes after posting. There’s a catch, though: users can only edit their tweets five times within that period.
While this restriction seems sufficient for correcting typos, uploading media files, or adding some tags, the company may have introduced it to prevent people from abusing the feature by changing the content of a tweet on a whim. The social media company told TechCrunch that it is currently monitoring user behavior and the number of edits available to users in the approved time period may change.
The “edit tweet” feature will first be available to users who pay for the optional Twitter Blue subscription, but will not be initially rolled out to all paid users. Twitter has confirmed that New Zealand-based subscribers will get the feature first, and it will later roll out to Twitter Blue users in Australia, Canada and the US once it learns more about usage patterns. So subscribers in these three countries may have to wait a little longer and use the service without the tagging feature.
After the company laid out its plans for the edit button, experts opined that the tool could be used spread political misinformation or crypto scams. But these cases will come to the fore only after a larger set of people start using the feature regularly. It’s too early to tell if the feature will become a threat or just an option for people to fix their dumb spelling mistakes.
The social network has faced a lot of scrutiny over the past few months for how it handles its own security practices, methods to catch spam accountsand detection of child sexual abuse material (CSAM).. The last thing a social media company would want is for one of its most anticipated features to cause chaos.