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I have read articles written about why we should be able to modify existing tweets, but I haven't been able to find anything substantial about why we can't.

My initial thought was that edited tweets would compromise the transparency or accountability of tweets. If we could change tweets, it could potentially detract from the real-time dynamic of the experience. Yet there are proposed workarounds for this, my favorite being Mat Honan's suggestion that edited tweets could be flagged the way favorites and retweets are, and the original tweet be viewed using Twitter's Cards function.

Is making user actions nonreversible (outside of deleting and reposting, an action that also affects the pace of Twitter) a tradeoff for effecting a live experience? Is it a constraint that is hanging around from Twitter's SMS days? I'm looking for data or research that supports Twitter's approach in not allowing tweets to be edited.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by DA01, Benny Skogberg, Charles Wesley, Izhaki, greenforest Dec 2 '13 at 21:40

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

People here are likely to just speculate - unless Twitter themselves have published anything about why they've done it. If so then you're more likely to get an actual answer from Twitter support forums really. – JonW Dec 2 '13 at 13:24

Twitter is still a delivered medium like sms or email. It makes no sense to offer an edit option because people will have already received the original tweet. UI has to follow the fundamental nature of the system. Even the delete option is only offered on the basis that it is fallible and clients might not respect it.

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in other words it's like not being able to edit an email after hitting the send button; it's already gone – ratchet freak Dec 2 '13 at 16:56

I think the answer is minimalism, the biggest USP (in my opinion) of Twitter is its clean interface with a minimal amount of functionality. Editing might be a small feature to implement, take up a minimal amount of space, and contribute some value to the users. However, keeping a very strict policy about adding only the bare minimum of functionality in a UI is required if minimalism is a top priority

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