Twitter confirms it is working on an edit button


Twitter Inc. has confirmed it is working on a feature that will allow users to edit tweets after they have been posted.

The announcement comes after Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk revealed a 9.2% stake in the social media company and asked his followers in a poll if they wanted the feature.

“We’ve been exploring how to build an Edit feature in a safe manner since last year and plan to begin testing it within @TwitterBlue Labs in the coming months,” Twitter’s head of consumer product Jay Sullivan said on Tuesday.

The edit function has been one of the most requested features among Twitter users for some time, the company said. In a separate tweet, Twitter’s communications team denied that the move was related to Mr. Musk’s poll.

“People want to be able to fix (sometimes embarrassing) mistakes, typos and hot takes in the moment,” Mr. Sullivan said. The company was aware such a function could be misused, he said.

“Without things like time limits, controls, and transparency about what has been edited, Edit could be misused to alter the record of the public conversation. Protecting the integrity of that public conversation is our top priority when we approach this work,” he said.

On Monday, Mr. Musk, who has been a longtime critic of Twitter, disclosed a large stake in the company, making him one of its biggest shareholders.

The surprise move sent Twitter’s stock up 27%, its largest one-day percentage gain on record. Still, little is known about Mr. Musk’s intentions. He has previously reveled in the attention from his more than 80 million Twitter followers, and criticized the service broadly.

The company later said it would appoint him to its board, bringing the billionaire social-media agitator inside the fold.

The outspoken entrepreneur hasn’t been shy about questioning Twitter’s values. In recent weeks he has mused publicly about its commitment to free speech and has said he was considering starting a rival social-media platform of his own.

“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy,” Mr. Musk said in a tweet last month. “Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” In the accompanying poll, 70% of the more than two million respondents voted no.

“He’s both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need on @Twitter, and in the boardroom, to make us stronger in the long-term. Welcome Elon!” Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal said after the news was announced.

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