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Twitter To Add ‘Edit Button’ Feature For Premium Subscribers

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Twitter has announced that it will add an ‘edit’ button for tweets, introducing a feature that has long been debated on the platform and attracted controversy.

The company announced the decision in a tweet on Sept. 1st. The button will be available to all users of Twitter Blue, a premium subscription service that costs USD $4.99 per month.

Users may change the original text of a tweet within 30 minutes after posting, with such tweets being labeled ‘Edited’ after such a feature is performed. Upon clicking on this label, they will be able to see earlier versions of the same tweet, per a post on Twitter’s corporate blogging website.

The introduction of the button for Twitter Blue users is also a test of the feature for Twitter’s wider user base, estimated at 330 million monthly active users. In the blog post, the company described the feature as an “initial expansion.”

“This is our most requested feature to date,” wrote Twitter in the post. They described the intent behind its addition to “fix typos, add missed tags, and more.” For Twitter Blue users, the company said they would be studying “how the feature impacts the way people read, write, and engage with Tweets.”

The inclusion of an ‘edit’ feature on Twitter, which has long been available on other major social media websites (i.e., Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram) has been debated frequently by users and the companies. Opponents of the measure argue that the feature will remove accountability on the platform, particularly for public figures, who may change the content of their statements when they invite public discontent.

Others claim that it will allow users to exploit the system for social media attention, by publishing inflammatory tweets that gain attention, only to remove such content using the feature later after their accounts have attracted ‘likes,’ ‘retweets,’ and ‘followers.’ In January 2020, Twitter’s co-founder and then-CEO Jack Dorsey said that the feature was unlikely to be introduced for these reasons.

The release of the feature comes at a time when Twitter faces major corporate stresses. On July 8, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk withdrew from his deal to acquire the company, accusing it of misconduct in refusing to disclose statistics on the number of “fake accounts” (i.e., accounts created and run by computer programs to either advertise or attract users). It is currently suing Musk to compel him to proceed with the deal.

Additionally, the company’s former Chief Security Officer, Peiter Zatko, sent documents to Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 23 alleging major security lapses at the company, with sensitive information being unprotected and user data being carelessly stored. Zatko also alleged that Twitter misled government regulators about its security procedures.  Twitter has since seen its stock price decline to $38.61 a share from a monthly high of $44.50 on Aug. 15.

Twitter did not provide a timeline for when Twitter Blue users would be able to begin using the feature. Presently, only a few accounts internally managed by Twitter have been granted access, with the feature still being tested pending its release to subscribers.

Twitter has not responded to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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