Why doesn’t Twitter have an ‘Edit Tweet’ button?

January 19, 2021

There could be many reasons why you might want to edit a tweet: for example, you could have written something embarrassing while being tipsy or accidentally posted a tweet instead of sending DM. Or maybe your opinion has simply changed and now you want to take back what you said. It could even be as simple as having a typo in your tweet, which doesn’t go well with your high standards. However, no matter what your reason is, there still isn’t a way to edit a tweet, and the CEO of Twitter has even gone on the record to say that they’ll probably never do it. So let’s take a look at why Twitter wouldn’t want to add such a sought-after feature.

The problem with not having the ability to edit tweets

Numerous Twitter users have begged for the ‘Edit Tweet’ button pretty much since the very beginning of its existence. It seems like a reasonable feature request since most people tweet from their smartphones so there's a big possibility of spelling something wrong. However, it still remains the case that, if tweets have typos or factual errors, users who posted them have only two options – either live with them and leave them on your account as they are or delete the original and post a new version, losing any retweets, likes and embedded shares elsewhere. Moreover, simply deleting the tweet can’t always undo its damage. It can live on unaltered in screenshots, and you won’t always be able to explain what you meant when you posted it.

How the “Edit Tweet” feature could look like

Obviously, there is some controversy over the concept of editing tweets itself. Facebook broached this years ago when it added an edit option: while you can change the content of a post, everyone can still see what you changed.

Here’s how Slate’s Will Oremus has described his idea of ‘Edit’ button on Twitter: “Ideally, the edited tweet would replace the original, not only on Twitter but everywhere that it had been embedded across the Web. It still wouldn’t reach all of the people who saw the original—corrections rarely do—but it would reach some of them, and a follow-up tweet could put the word out more widely. An edited tweet is marked as such, and includes an option to view the original so that you can see exactly what was changed.”

WIRED have gone even further and proposed that “the original author should have the option of notifying everyone who retweeted that there’s been a correction, which they could then publish to the top of their timelines with a single click. That gives them the option to push out the edited tweet to their followers, without forcing an update which seems like it could be ripe for abuse.”

Why Twitter doesn’t want to implement the option to edit tweets

While we have made the case for adding a feature that allows to edit tweets without deleting them in the previous paragraphs, on the other hand, we must admit that there are also valid reasons not to do it. For example, the ability to go back and edit what you’ve said could ruin Twitter’s real-time, ‘stream of consciousness’ nature. Many good stories have come from someone who has tweeted too much accidentally. That was also the main reason cited by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who said that they wanted to preserve the early vibe of Twitter when the only way you could send a tweet was through a text message.

We would also guess that another reason behind it is accountability – having an “Edit Tweet” button would allow people to change what they had previously posted and then claim that they never made such a statement in the first place. And as Twitter is populated by countless politicians and other public figures, allowing to do so could veer into dangerous territory where they are not held accountable for the things they post.

So maybe it’s a good thing that Twitter doesn’t have and “Edit Tweet” button, as it encourages people to take another look at what they’re posting before they blurt it out.If that hasn’t prevented you from posting an erroneous tweet, you’ll just have to decide whether you want to delete it or keep it on your account with all the mistakes still there.

Meanwhile, if there’s more than just one tweet that you’d like to get rid of, it might be worth trying out a tweet deletion tool like TweetDeleter, which will help you get rid of numerous tweets with just a single click. Using its powerful features, such as filtering tweets by keywords, date and other parameters, as well as selecting multiple tweets to be deleted, you’ll be able to erase all of your bad tweets quickly and efficiently. Because let’s be honest - some tweets couldn’t be saved even by an “edit” button.