Editing a tweet using Twitter’s upcoming edit button could leave a digital trace of your tweet’s history, according to reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong. In a tweet, Manchun Wong explains that the edit function appears to have an “immutable” quality, which means Twitter may create an entirely new tweet when one is edited, all while preserving the previous versions of that tweet.
“Looks like Twitter’s approach to Edit Tweet is immutable, as in, instead of mutating the Tweet text within the same Tweet (same ID), it re-creates a new Tweet with the amended content, along with the list of the old Tweets prior of that edit,” Manchun Wong says.
As Manchun Wong notes, it’s unclear how a tweet’s edit history will appear to users, or if it will at all. But if Twitter does decide to make tweet history public, it could be a way to address concerns over potential abuse of the feature, as some critics believe it could be used to alter the public record and mislead users.
App researcher Alessandro Paluzzi also tweeted out what appear to be screenshots of the new feature, giving us a glimpse at how the edit button might actually look when it’s live on Twitter. In one screenshot, Paluzzi shows how the “Edit Tweet” option could appear in the three-dot menu on the right side of your tweets.
Selecting the button leads you to a screen that looks much like the regular tweet composer, only it’s pre-filled with your tweet’s text and says “Update” in the bottom right corner instead of “Tweet.” Paluzzi’s screenshots don’t show an option to view a tweet’s edit history, however.