Elon Musk, Twitter's largest shareholder, asks users if they want an edit button

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said Musk's poll will have important consequences.

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Mariella Moon
April 5, 2022 4:31 AM
In this article: news, gear, Twitter, Elon Musk, edit button
Elon Musk gestures as he speaks during a press conference at SpaceX's Starbase facility near Boca Chica Village in South Texas on February 10, 2022. - Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk delivered an eagerly-awaited update on SpaceX's Starship, a prototype rocket the company is developing for crewed interplanetary exploration. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
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Elon Musk, who recently became Twitter's largest shareholder, has posted a poll on the website asking users whether they want an edit button. His options are a misspelled "yse" and "on," which might make you think that the whole thing is joke until you see that the poll has been retweeted by Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. "The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully," Agrawal wrote, hinting that the poll could lead to an actual edit button on the social network. 

Many Twitter users have asked for an edit button over the years, but the website has remained staunchly resistant to those requests. In a video Q&A with Wired back in 2020, Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey said the website will "probably never" add an edit button. He explained that the social network started as a text messaging service, and you can't take back a text once you've sent it. Twitter apparently wanted to preserve that vibe and feeling.

Musk, who's been a prolific tweeter way before he purchased 9.2 percent of the social network, might serve as the catalyst for the company to change that outlook. As of this writing, 74.7 percent out of the 1,439,779 accounts that participated in the poll voted "yse" to an edit button. Whether Twitter will immediately start working on the feature if "yse" wins remains to be seen. That is, if it hasn't started developing it yet — the official Twitter account recently posted that the company is "working on an edit button," but that was on April Fools' Day.

It's also unclear how an edit button would work on Twitter, where reposting other people's content is widely practiced. If the person who tweeted the original post edits it, will the retweeted content reflect the change, as well? And will the edit button for a tweet be available indefinitely or only for a short period of time? Dorsey said during the Wired interview that Twitter previously considered giving users a 30-to-60-second window to correct something, which would be more than enough time to edit spelling mistakes and other minor changes.

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