As the coronavirus pandemic continues to put the world on hold and fill hospitals, everyone is being urged to wear a mask when they are out in public. Now Twitter has joined in and suggested it will implement one of the most sought after features on the service if everyone just wears a mask.
As CNBC reports, the offer came in a tweet posted on the official Twitter account yesterday evening, which read, “You can have an edit button when everyone wears a mask.” Although clearly Twitter and CEO Jack Dorsey are just teasing us with the offer (because how would you tell everyone is wearing a mask?), it does show a growing frustration that people are choosing to forego the advice and not wear a mask in public.
As you’d expect, responses to the tweet have been divisive. Twitter has been called out for entering a political debate, demanding compliance, and being told nobody wanted an edit button anyway. Where as others have posted links to cheap masks, diagrams showing the positive difference a mask can make to infection rates, and generally asking everyone to get on board. One particular Twitter user decided to flip the request, suggesting everyone will start wearing masks when the edit button goes live.
Ultimately, this isn’t how we get an edit button for Twitter, and we may never get one as Dorsey has said in the past it poses some difficult problems. For example, if a tweet changes so do all the retweets of that tweet, meaning the retweeter may no longer know the content of the tweet they decided to share with their followers.
For now and the foreseeable future, the edit button will remain absent from Twitter. Meanwhile, COVID-19 continues to spread like a viral tweet and everyone should be doing anything they can to help limit its spread.