After being on Twitter for so long, having the ability to edit posts is such a huge relief. However, the way Cohost handles edited posts right now is honestly quite concerning.
Right now (as far as I'm aware), we are allowed to edit posts pretty much whenever we want, no matter how old a given post is. This is great, but there are some issues:
1. Edited posts are not AT ALL clearly marked as such.
This is a huge, glaring issue with editing posts right now. This very easily grants the ability for a user to set up some kind of bait post, wait for someone to respond to it, and then edit the contents to form a completely different context.
2. Edited posts do not show *when* they were edited.
Being able to tell a post was edited at all is important, but I think being able to tell when is also crucial. This further helps protect against the "bait and switch" scenario I described above, since users can tell when a post was edited and compare it to the post timestamp of the given responses.
3. Edited posts do not show exactly what was changed.
Admittedly, this last point might be a huge ask, since this would definitely increase how much data is being stored about a single post. But I think being able to view a post's full edit history would be very helpful for viewing the full context of a given conversation, and leaves almost nothing to assumption or interpretation. Perhaps response posts could even be updated to only show OP posts in the state they were at the time of responding?
I'm personally quite a fan of how GitHub handles this. It clearly shows you if a comment was edited, and you can open a little drop-down menu to view every individual change that was made, plus the exact differences in the content. For privacy's sake, they also allow you to delete edit history (although it'll still show that it was edited at a particular time).
re: the third option: it's very handy to not have a visible edit history; i have used this to remove PII from the background of a photo from work that i didn't look at closely enough at first
does this forum have a character limit? :/ i had quite a bit more after this...
@atomicthumbs yep, this is *exactly* why being able to delete edit history at will is really important. it's unfortunate having to erase stuff like that sometimes, but occasionally, this exact situation can happen and you just don't really have a choice.
Full edit history, even with the option to redact it, is *probably* a bit much? I imagine possible incidents where people edit personal information out of posts without realising they also need to go wipe it from the edit history (and maybe I don't want people checking the history just to see what words I can't spell). A little indicator with the edit time(s) would be nice, though, even if that risks us importing the "Edit: spelling" thing from Reddit.
hmmmmm… i’m generally not in favor of edit markers
Against edit history: I’ve personally never found it very useful in the context of posts. It’s certainly not useful for redacting edits, and if it’s an innocuous edit, then you just see that they fixed a typo or that they added a very obviously marked “edit:” section, so it’s not particularly interesting. I’d say github issues are different: they may remain open and under discussion for a long time, and the opening comment may see a lot of details added, removed, or changed. I don’t find that this is the case for posts, except for the rare reference round-up post.
Regardless, if implemented at all, I think it should be opt-in, not opt-out, to assure privacy by default. (Also, like github, it should probably not be visible to logged-out users)
As for the bait-and-switch scenario, I think this is a bit of an XY problem. The exact issue isn’t that you can’t see whether a post was edited, but that you can’t see whether a shared post was edited. So, instead of requiring an “edited” indicator on every edited post, I think an indicator on the share post saying “replying to an earlier edit” would suffice (combined with the share post’s creation timestamp). That way, this information is only visible when and where necessary.
eh, well, not really a straight-up Privacy Concern, more so just a thing I don’t think needs to have attention called towards most of the time. It suddenly makes the post suspect even for the smallest change. When you go edit a post and know that’ll cause an edit indicator to appear, it’s like, ah, well, maybe should just delete and re-draft it instead. Definitely more of a thing for longer posts where it’s like basically guaranteed that you’ll find a typo later or have forgotten a tag.
The “replying to an earlier edit” indicator was kind of meant to be an adaptation of how tumblr does it, which is that it doesn’t have an edit indicator, but it does literally copy the entire original post when you share it, i.e. shares are clearly replying to an earlier edit. (not that I think cohost should do that; it’d be even worse for redaction). And, well, the exact design of the indicator isn’t really important; it could be a text label beside the timestamp, or it could be some kinda ripped paper design that makes it look like the posts were taped together with the text written on the tape, or it could be a red banner with 24-point bold type, etc.
But, yeah, this is definitely more on the trivial side, and having an obligatory edit indicator is like, it’s fine…
Generally, I don’t think it should be very disastrous to miss an edit indicator either way. If there are so many bait posts on a website for that to be an issue, then i’d be very concerned about that website!!
I agree that edits should be marked, if not they will be misused easily and you won't even know if a post was even edited or not.
as someone who regularly strings posts together and edits in links, I think that all my posts would likely have the edit marker, which would be fine except for the potential suspicion factor it could introduce, which is unideal. I do like @caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat's point of a culture/behaviour thing as well, though, as thinking about potential for something like an ETA field (either in-line or a separate sort of line under the post like the moods/listening to back on LJ) may be complicated
do people really automatically assume the worst when they see an edit marker...? the only time i've given stuff like that a second thought is when there's a reply that sounds like it's responding to something wildly different to the OP post.
I think edit markers would be a great addition and I don't think people assume it to be a bad thing, but I don't see much use in an edit history, only abuse potential & wasted storage space.
I think there are big pros and big cons to edit histories, and am undecided on whether we should have them. But I do think that edit indicators would be slightly worse than useless. Almost every post will have them, and the only real impact they'll have is discouraging people from editing.
I also feel that edit indicators could turn out to be pointless, for the exact reasons that Jake Eakle brought up. It's not like twitter where it was only considered to let ppl edit tweets for half an hour, where posts themselves are micro sized, where algorithm puts them in front of strangers and it's easy to start a drama etc
The great thing about this platform after coming from twitter is the freedom of mind where I don't need to sweat whether a post is perfect before I send it because I can always tweak it. I would just feel embarrassed that everyone could see that I edited a simple image post like 10 times because I couldn't decide on a tag or punctuation in the caption or whatever and it would feel constraining '////'