Facebook and the “edited” label
In the seemingly never ending quest to keep up with changes to the functionality of Facebook, it seems as if the newest wrinkle is in their editing function.
Specifically, in lack of the “Edited” label that used to alert readers to the fact that a post had been edited from its original word choice. For those of us prone to the occasional typo, or who hit “Send” a word too soon, the editing feature in Facebook is useful, and perhaps a feature that might ought to be extended to other social media platforms.
However, some users have been known to edit a controversial Facebook post after receiving negative feedback about its content, albeit leaving a digital trail by the “Edited” notation at the bottom of it, allowing the world to know that changes are afoot.
The label is gone
[clickToTweet tweet=”The ‘edited’ label is now missing from Facebook updates – is it permanent or just a glitch? ” quote=”Users have recently reported that the “Edited” label no longer appears, leaving readers none the wiser as to what content has been updated from when it was originally published.”]
But just because something doesn’t appear doesn’t mean that it’s gone forever with Facebook.
By clicking on the post information tab on the drop-down menu, one sees the option to view the edit history. Once you look at the edit history, you can see all the changes that were made to the post from the time it was first published.
The issue isn’t that users can edit their Facebook posts; that’s always been a feature. The issue lies in the fact that users can no longer see that a post has been edited with the immediacy of appearing on the post itself, leaving readers to go through a multi-step process that, frankly, most won’t be aligned to do.
Facebook says it’s old news
“In most cases, this type of editing isn’t a big deal, but the move to hide post edit labels takes away one of the few features that provided any transparency for our online behavior,” writes Brett Williams of Mashable. “This raises one of the biggest ethical questions that has long plagued social media and the way we interact on the internet: Should we have the power to instantly, surreptitiously rewrite our wrongs to preserve our online image?”
Facebook’s response to the change in the disappearance of the “Edited” label was to say that it is different, but that the change occurred a year ago, with the implementation taking this long to reach the majority of users.
Frankly, as busy as the Facebook homepage has become, it wouldn’t be altogether surprising if it had hit our accounts sooner, but we just didn’t notice until now.
Note from the Editor: We asked most of our staff when the last time they saw “edited” on a Facebook post and all said it was last week…
So as we consume social media, we must be more cognizant than ever before that things might not be what they appear. Fake news, edited posts, sponsored tweets without attribution that they’ve been leveraged and purchased; it’s hard to discern what’s authentic and original anymore. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take advantage of the tools at our disposal and try.