American stand-up comedian Joe Rogan is not only famous for his time on the stage but also for getting significant information out on his podcast. Few months ago, Elon Musk appeared on it and was seen smoking weed, sparking all sorts of headlines, and now this time it was Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who was in the hot-seat delving out future plans regarding the tweet. No, Dorsey didn’t smoke-up but discussed a feature that will let Twitterati edit their Tweets.
Although the executive did not discuss the feature in detail, he touched upon the subject in bits and pieces. Replying to Rogan’s question, Dorsey said that Twitter will get “The ability to edit, like if you make a typo or something like that. But also the ability for people to see the original”. He added that the reason Twitter doesn’t have edit is that it was built on SMS (text messaging).
“Once you send a text, you can’t take it back. So when you send a tweet it goes to the world instantaneously. You can’t take it back. You could build it as such so maybe we introduce a 5-second to 30-second delay in the sending. And within that window, you can edit. The issue with going longer than that is it takes that real-time nature of the conversational flow out of it,” Dorsey explained the reason for not having an edit option yet.
To this, Rogan pointed out that clarity is important in a Tweet (to send out the exact message that a user wants to say). Dorsey said, “It depends on the context. If you’re in the context of an NBA game, you want to be fast and in the moment. You want to be raw. But if you’re in the context of considering what the president just did or making a particular statement, then you probably need some more time. And we can be dynamic there.”
This is not the first time that Dorsey has talked about a feature to edit tweets. Last year, Dorsey said that the company has to carefully consider use cases for the edit button before making it a reality. “A lot of people want the edit button because they want to quickly fix a mistake they made. Like a misspelling or tweeting the wrong URL. That’s a lot more achievable than allowing people to edit any tweet all the way back in time,” Dorsey was quoted as saying.
He added that Twitter will ideally prevent unlimited editing, because then anyone could abuse the feature to alter their controversial or damning statements later on. Dorsey noted that the company wants to implement a solution that solves a problem. “We have been considering this for a while and we have to do in the right way. We can’t just rush it out. We can’t make something which is distracting or takes anything away from the public record,” the top Executive said.
Currently, WhatsApp has a delete feature according to which a user has a seven minute window to delete the message. Facebook’s Unsend feature follows the same roadmap but has been in a controversy because critics have argued that this could be a handy feature for abusers who can erase evidence of their misdeeds and make people more comfortable in speaking up. Dorsey seems to have taken a note of it and give the feature a good think before rolling it out.