Science

Twitter to start testing post edit button in Canada – Beauce Média

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

TORONTO. Canadians will be among the first to use the edit post button that Twitter will launch later this month.

The feature, which was announced on Wednesday, will be available to Canadian subscribers of Twitter Blue, the company’s paid subscription service, which was only launched in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand. Internal Twitter teams have already begun testing, and by the end of September it will be rolled out to Twitter Blue subscribers.

This feature will allow subscribers to “repeatedly” edit their tweets, add or remove tags, and reorder media attachments within 30 minutes of posting. Modified messages are marked with an icon and a label to indicate that they have been modified, and users will have access to the revision history with a timestamp.

The company designed the edit button – its “most requested feature to date” – as a way to reduce the frustration of having to delete a tweet or leave a typo because there is currently no way to edit posts.

“We hope that with the advent of (this) feature, Twitter will become more accessible and less intimidating,” reads the official Twitter blog post about the change.

The implementation of the tool comes at a time when Canada is looking to regulate technology companies and is stepping up pressure to combat online harassment.

“But if we’re looking for a tool that will make Twitter a more productive, welcoming and healthy place, then this is not the place,” said Natasha Tusikov, associate professor of social sciences at the University of York.

“If Twitter is hoping that an editing tool will improve public discourse and make it safer, more productive, and more engaging, then it definitely won’t happen. It doesn’t solve any of Twitter’s structural problems.”

Tusikov added that among her biggest concerns are the trolling, doxing, and harassment that plague the platform and often go unnoticed by Twitter and law enforcement.

Doxxing is the posting of personal information, including residential addresses, on the Internet for the purpose of intimidation.

Fears

Ms. Tusikov fears that people with malicious intent will post the message and then edit it into something else derogatory or hateful when it starts to circulate.

A user who has already “liked” or re-uploaded the original post may not be aware of these changes until they revisit the post, but they will be linked to it.

Richard Lachman, Professor of Digital Media at Toronto Metropolitan University, emphasized that people also need to notice what changes have been made to messages, and reminded that humanity does not have a great track record when it comes to attention to detail in messages. tweets.

“The internet is not used to reading carefully,” he said. He is used to seeing what is, and not what is written in small print, that it has been changed.

The version of the edit button that Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to test may not be the one that will eventually become available to all users.

Initially, the test will be localized to one country, but this feature will be improved and expanded as Twitter learns and watches how people use it. As the company wrote on its blog, “you can never be too careful.”

Dispute with Elon Musk

The launch of the edit post button comes at a time when Twitter is embroiled in a legal battle with tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, who was about to buy the social media company for $44 billion. It has since backed out of the deal, saying Twitter has more robot accounts than it disclosed, but Twitter is suing Mr. Musk to force the sale to go through.

Elon Musk asked social media users earlier this year if they would like to have access to the edit button, and 73.6% of respondents said they would welcome the change.

It’s unclear why Twitter chose this particular moment to shut down the edit button, or if Mr. Musk had anything to do with the decision, but the failure of the deal could “push (the company) to take revenue growth much more seriously.” Lachman said.

He praised the company for its “slow and deliberate” launch approach, but wished the company would be more transparent in its explanation, as Jack Dorsey, who stepped down as Twitter CEO last year, had long opposed the editing feature.

“It’s a bit unfair to be so strongly against something and then come back without (…) explaining why this change is happening,” he said.

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