Twitter: Instead of Tweet Edits, How About 'Clarifications'?

Jack Dorsey wants you to be able to clarify any offensive tweets you might have posted in the past.
Twitter: Instead of Tweet Edits, How About 'Clarifications'?
Image credit: via PC Mag

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This story originally appeared on PCMag

For years, Twitter users have been begging the microblogging service for a way to edit tweets. Back in 2016, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got people excited when he said the company was "thinking a lot" about the highly requested feature.

Kim Kardashian has even lobbied for an edit button. And yet, the world is still waiting on one.

Now, according to Recode, Twitter is considering something similar: a way to clarify -- not edit -- old tweets. This isn't for correcting spelling or grammatical errors, but making amends for bonehead tweets you posted in the past that are no longer representative of your views. Journalists and news organizations, meanwhile, might use it to correct factual errors in tweets.

At a Thursday Goldman Sachs event in San Francisco, Dorsey said there's a cultural phenomenon of "people quote-unquote 'being cancelled' because of past things that they've said on Twitter or various other places in social media," Recode reported.

"There's no credible way to kind of go back and clarify or even have a conversation to show the learning and the transition since," he added, according to the report.

In the future, that may change.

Here's what Dorsey said the company is thinking about, according to Recode.

"How do we enable people to quickly go back or to any tweet, whether it be years back or today, and show that original tweet — kind of like a quote retweet, a retweet with comment — and to add some context and some color on what they might have tweeted or what they might have meant. By doing so you might imagine that the original tweet then would not have the sort of engagement around it. Like you wouldn't be able to retweet the original tweet, for instance. You would just show the clarification, you would be able to retweet the clarification, so it always carries around with it that context. That's one approach."

That description is about as clear as mud, but as Recode notes, the idea is to "give people a chance to permanently attach some kind of comment or annotation to a tweet." That way, any time someone encounters the offending tweet, they'll see the clarification as well. As for whether this actually comes to pass remains to be seen, but don't hold your breath.

"Not saying that we are going to launch that but those are the sorts of questions we are going to ask," Dorsey said.

Of course, you could always just a) think before you tweet or b) delete old tweets.

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