Products
Glide CMS image
Glide CMS arrow
The powerful intuitive headless CMS for busy content and editorial teams, bursting with features and sector insight. MACH architecture gives you business freedom.
Glide Go image
Glide Go arrow
Enterprise power at start-up speed. Glide Go is a pre-configured deployment of Glide CMS with hosting and front-end problems solved.
Glide Nexa image
Glide Nexa arrow
Audience authentication, entitlements, and preference management in one system designed for publishers and content businesses.
For your sector
Media & Entertainment
arrow
Built for any content to thrive, whoever it's for. Get your content out faster and do more with it.
Sports & Gaming
arrow
Bring fans closer to their passions and deliver unrivalled audience experiences wherever they are.
Publishing
arrow
Tailored to the unique needs of publishing so you can fully focus on audiences and content success.
For your role
Technology
arrow
Unlock resources and budget with low-code & no-code solutions to do so much more.
Editorial & Content
arrow
Make content of higher quality quicker, and target it with pinpoint accuracy at the right audiences.
Developers
arrow
MACH architecture lets you kickstart development, leveraging vast native functionality and top-tier support.
Commercial & Marketing
arrow
Speedrun ideas into products, accelerate ROI, convert interest, and own the conversation.
Technology Partners
AWS image
AWS
arrow
Getty Images image
Getty Images
arrow
Brightcove image
Brightcove
arrow
Poool image
Poool
arrow
Solution Partners
Endava image
Endava
arrow
The App Lab image
The App Lab
arrow
Code Store image
Code Store
arrow
Polemic Digital image
Polemic Digital
arrow
Resources
Developer Experience
arrow
Find out more how to work with Glide headless CMS, Glide Go, and Glide Nexa identity management
Customer Support
arrow
Learn more about unrivalled customer support from team Glide
Documentation
arrow
User and Technical documentation for the Glide Publishing Platform, Glide Go, and Glide Nexa
Newsroom
News arrow
Comment arrow
Newsletter arrow

Twitter's edit button and the problem for journalists

Edited tweets could deepen the issue of trust and truth for news and media organisations. Here's how we might learn to work around the problem.

by  Rob Corbidge
16:00, 07 April 2022
Twitter edits could make journalists lives harder

So Twitter is working on an edit post button, and not just in response to Elon Musk's arrival as a major shareholder.

The firm revealed it has in fact been working on an edit post function for over a year. And, as relatively simple as it might seem (hint: it's not, really), it's got some quite interesting ramifications for editors and journalists who use Twitter posts as story sources or article embeds.

In short, if you build a lot of content on or around Twitter activity, would you be unsettled by the ability for those tweets to be edited after your article has gone live? 

As it stands, altered tweets only lead to emptiness - in the sense that your audience can see the tweet is no longer there, either because it was deleted, or removed for some other reason.

However, those reasons are explained and the tweet itself is gone, so it's pretty clear to readers what's happened. No blowback for you.

But what if you go all-in on a Twitter story, only to have the original poster change what was said? That could leave a lot of people looking pretty foolish. 

Attribution of fact is hard enough in the fast-moving digital media age, and post editing seems only to be a feature which could make that more challenging if not handled well, either through being abused or simply by amplifying confusion.

Dewey defeats Truman newspaper front page

Maybe Truman tweeted his concession and then changed his mind...

How to handle this is no doubt why Twitter has been working on it for over a year. It will have to take into account circumstances such as when tweets are liked, and retweeted, and perhaps build an internal messaging system that would inform likers and RT-ers that they might want to check they still like the new version of whatever it was they perhaps appeared to endorse/praise/criticise.

Anyway, here's what we would hope for as a minimum, and what actions news organisations could perhaps consider implementing to increase safety.

EDIT FLAGS AND VERSIONS
An edited tweet should say it is edited, and have an audit trail - so a user can see what was originally written. Most edits will probably be for typos - a flag saying so would be nice - but for more serious content edits we think it's important to be able to see the originals. No pretending covfefe never happened. After all, the edits themselves might be the story.

USER NOTIFICATIONS
Users should get notifications that a tweet they have liked or RTd has been edited, so they can check if they still stand behind their original hot take.

This won't solve a journalist's problem of embeds placed directly into content, but it at least goes some way to provide an alert mechanism. Tie it in with a Twitter API which could indicate when an embed has changed (and perhaps trigger an auto display of a suitable message on your site that the content has changed, or perhaps even lead to the original), and you have gone some way towards a decent safety net.

SCREENSHOTS OVER EMBEDS?
Direct embeds are handy and feel very close to the story, but some organisations already reject them in favour of screenshots of posts which overcomes the issue of tweet deletions breaking embeds.

Screenshots now look an even more attractive practice in publishing organisations, perhaps with the URL of the relevant post being linked to the screenshot: you can't prevent the edit or removal, but you still show what was said at the time of publication.

DISCLAIMERS APLENTY
There's a good chance you already have a disclaimer for tweets, such as being hosted outside your control and not being reflective of any views you may hold. We suggest a more wide-ranging standard disclaimer, which also covers off that the tweet a user sees might be edited from its original meaning.

The change is not due imminently, and will debut on the Twitter Blue paid service where one hopes any niggles can be ironed out.

Latest articles

article listing image
Content Aware media news: April 25, 2024
arrow button
article listing image
Content Aware media news: April 18, 2024
arrow button
article listing image
Content Aware media news: April 4, 2024
arrow button

Ready to get started?

No matter where you are on your CMS journey, we're here to help. Want more info or to see Glide Publishing Platform in action? We got you.

Book a demo