- Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk joins Twitter’s board of directors.
- Musk said he plans to “make significant improvements to Twitter” in the coming months.
- At the top of this list seems to be Twitter’s most requested feature: “Do you want an edit button?” he asked Monday night.
On Tuesday morning, billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk added another title to his resume: Twitter board member.
Musk is joining Twitter’s board after disclosing a 9.2% stake in the social media company earlier this week. This investment made him Twitter’s largest shareholder virtually overnight.
“Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in the coming months!” Musk said Tuesday morning (where else?) Twitter.
But even before news of his appointment to Twitter’s board broke, Musk was publicly planning the “meaningful improvements” he wants to make to the service.
“Do you want an edit button? Musk asked his more than 80 million followers Monday night.
A potential edit button has been a point of contention among Twitter users for so long that it’s become something of an inside joke.
Currently, if you post a tweet with a misspelling or incorrect link (or any other mistake you want to correct), there’s no way to fix it. You can delete the tweet and repost it with the error removed, or you can append an additional tweet in a thread correcting the previous error, but there’s no way to just remove the error.
Twitter itself used the edit button as an April Fool’s joke this year. “We are working on an edit button,” the company said last week.
Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey told Wired in January 2020 that the service would “probably never” add editing functionality. The concern, he said, is that someone “will send a tweet, then someone might retweet it, then an hour later you’ll completely change the content of that tweet.”
Dorsey, however, stepped down as CEO of Twitter in November 2021 and was replaced by Parag Agrawal.
When Musk asked his followers Monday night if they wanted an edit button for Twitter, it was shared by a key figure: CEO Parag Agrawal.
“The consequences of this poll will be significant,” Agrawal said alongside Musk’s tweet. “Please vote with caution.”
—Parag Agrawal (@paraga) April 5, 2022
Twitter has been Musk’s favorite mouthpiece for years. He’s a long-time user, having joined the service in 2009.
He often uses his account to share memes, Tesla news, rude jokes, and even to criticize Twitter itself. It also landed him in hot water.
Recently, Musk weighed in on the ongoing debate around internet platforms and censorship when he tweeted last week: “Given that Twitter serves as a de facto public square, disregard for the principles of freedom of expression fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?”
He also has Twitter users surveyed then if they think Twitter supports free speech. Musk added that “the consequences of this poll will be significant. Please vote with caution.” Seventy percent of respondents answered “no”.