Facebook makes statuses editable… but is this open to abuse?
It's extremely irritating. You change your Facebook status and immediately notice that you've made a stupid spelling mistake. This could come as a result of a slip of the finger, or your phone's autocorrect might be to blame. You could, of course, simply delete the status update and recreate it without errors. But what about if you've already managed to amass dozens of comments that you don’t want to lose?
Now there's no need to fret because Facebook has made it possible to make edits to statuses. At least this is the case if you're using the Android app or the website -- iOS app users will have to wait a little longer for an update. This is great news! No more stupid typos! No more statuses that sound like they were written by someone with their eyes closed after an evening of heavy drinking! Or is it such great news?
Just as the ability to edit comments is open to abuse, so is the editability of statuses. It would be perfectly possible to post something innocent as a status update… I don’t know… "I love rainbows". You might well gain a number of likes, and perhaps a few supportive comments. But how will your friend feel when they see that their response of "Yes, they're beautiful, aren’t they?" is now attached to a status that reads "My friends love monkey butts"?
The way the system works at the moment means that someone who leaves a comment on a status is not notified of any changes that may be made to it. Scroll through your timeline to a status that has been edited and you will see a tiny gray label that reads "Edited" -- in fact this is a clickable link that shows you the history of any changes that have been made.
At the moment, the status editing feature is not available to company pages, but there are plenty of businesses who use regular pages to promote themselves. It is here where Facebook users need to take care. There is currently no way of knowing whether your innocuous comment could later be seen to be attached to something offensive. Sure, people will be able to see -- if they bother to dig -- that the status was changed, but is that enough?
It may be businesses that need to take care with the new editing feature. It is not unknown for companies to interact with customers by posting messages on their walls. If a well-known brand becomes accidentally associated with an unsavoury status update, there could be serious repercussions.
Is there an ideal solution? Will you take more care before commenting on posts now you know it could be changed?