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Twitter CEO Says Not to Hold Your Breath for Tweet Editing

Credit: 9to5Mac

When the foot goes in the mouth, it stays there.

Since tweets are so short, we often don’t put as much thought into writing them as we would with other kinds of social media. It’s understandable; the entire point of Twitter’s character limit is to encourage quick, stream-of-thought posting. The problem with that arises when we type something incorrectly (or have a really hot take on something better left unsaid). Tweets can’t be edited, so once it’s out there, it’s out of your hands. It’s for this reason many Twitter users would really like an editing function. Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, says you really shouldn’t be getting your hopes up for that.

According to a Q&A Dorsey did with Wired, the reason Twitter originally couldn’t have an edit button was that it used the same SMS messaging system as texting, which also can’t be edited. Fair point, but that’s long since been remedied. Dorsey says that there’s two main reasons there’s no plans for an edit button right now. The first is retweets; if editing was enabled, someone could edit a retweet to make it look like someone else said something they didn’t. Faking social media posts is already easy enough, they don’t need to make it easier. The second reason is a little more abstract; Dorsey says he doesn’t want an edit button because it would mess with Twitter’s “vibe,” whatever that means.

Some users have suggested edits be allowed during a brief window after Tweeting. Dorsey says this is more feasible, but still potentially problematic, as many news outlets need Twitter to put their headlines up ASAP; they can’t let things languish even for a thirty minute window.

While Dorsey was ambiguous about the future, for the time being, an edit button isn’t happening on Twitter. If you’re the sort who makes typos a lot, well… try to stop?