Monday, June 25, 2012

Ever Committed A Twitterror!?


That feeling you get when you just hit the Tweet button and you see a glaring mistake in your 140 characters.  Or when re-reading a previous tweet you realize it could be interpreted differently. Or you calm down after a knee-jerk reaction to a snarky tweet and you’ve already let it all out into the Twittersphere. 

Twitter moves FAST.  That's one of its great features.  Just think how Twitter is now a trusted place for real-time news.  But this fact also makes Twitter a huge liability, especially in moments of post-tweet panic. 
What next?  It’s a lose-lose situation.  Deleting the tweet looks sneaky and suspicious, plus the words can live on through screenshots taken by other users.  Leaving the tweet allows it to be retweeted and spread, even if you issue another tweet apologizing.  What’s a tweeter to do!?

Last week, interface designer Oliver Reichenstein proposed a solution to this problem; give tweeters the choice of marking their tweets as “error”.  The original tweet would be edited and the “errored” words would be crossed out - indicating that the tweeter acknowledges the error and has since corrected it, probably in a follow-up tweet. 

This is still just an idea, but social media blogs and journalists have seemed to like it.  The Twitter Design Team, however, hasn’t yet jumped on board.  They think it would only be used by journalists, and aren’t convinced that spending resources on a feature that’s not universally used is a smart choice. 

Have you seen or committed a Twitterror??  Would you want to point out your errors?  Or just let them die in the Twittersphere?

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