Call for Twitter to allow ‘error’ function for tweets

Posted on June 26, 2012


A web design company has called for Twitter to consider a new function that would allow users to highlight errors in tweets. Oliver Reichenstein, of iA, proposed in a blog entry that Twitter could let users flag a tweet that had been posted in error, or contained wrong information.

The proposed feature would mean that a tweet flagged as erroneous would still be displayed, but with a strike going through the text, so that users could spot mistakes at a glance. This would help prevent the spreading of wrong information through re-tweeting, and could mean that the correct information could be sent in a follow-up tweet.

The idea has won support from companies including the BBC and some figures at Twitter, although Twitter’s designers remain unsure about incorporating more complex features in the site. One of the main advantages for the idea is that errors could be shown rather than deleted. Deleting a tweet can sometimes do more harm than good, as users can be suspicious of a company’s motives for getting rid of information.

This proposal highlights one of the biggest issues for anyone posting information online: how to manage mistakes. There is a huge amount of interest in information posted online in error, from embarrassing spelling mistakes to leaked information or comments made off-guard. Companies often use professional writers and content outsourcing for all their online communication, as reputations can be put on the line by everything from web articles to casual comments made on social media sites.

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