Have you ever typed up a long post on Facebook and hit “Send”, only to realize you misspelled a word? Sometimes, you just let it go. Other times, that word can be crucial to the overall meaning of what you wrote. That one misspelled word can change a lighthearted post into an offensive post. In light of this, many are thrilled that Facebook is finally activating the “edit” function on Facebook posts (also known as statuses).
Previously, this option was only available for comments on a post. If Aunt Becky shared a picture of your cousin’s first place medal and autocorrect butchered your “Congratulations!” comment, you were in luck. Now, this easy fix option has been extended to posts and statuses – but is this a good thing?
Critics are worried that it will be easy to “trick” people into liking a post, before changing it to something else without their knowledge. Imagine liking your friend’s post about your favorite sports team: “Go SMU! Pony Up!” However, an hour later, you check back and discover the author has edited the post to something a little different: “Go TCU! Beat SMU!” While that is a playful example, imagine the implications of a more controversial edit.
Facebook’s answer to this predicament is simple – users can access the history of any edited post by clicking a link adjacent to the status. Google+ boasts a similar feature.
For day-to-day life, editing is helpful for the errant autocorrect here or there. However, journalists and reporters are delighted with the possibilities. The edit feature will allow them to edit posts as news develops, creating the opportunity for increased accuracy and transparency.
What do you think about editing? Is it a detriment or improvement to Facebook’s ever-changing world?