The story of Julius Pringles is being used as an example of why an edit button on Twitter might not be the greatest idea. Elon Musk, Twitter’s new largest shareholder, is ecstatic at the idea of an edit button, as is everyone with a backlog of awful tweets. On April fool’s Day, the social media corporation revealed that they were looking into introducing an edit button, before clarifying a few days later that it was not a joke.
Other social media sites, such as Facebook, Reddit, and Wikipedia, have their own versions of the edit button, which function to varied degrees of success. Some people are concerned about the website’s edit button, citing the famous and often-cited example of “what if someone tweets’retweet if you like puppies’ or any other tweet to garner retweets, before altering it to read’retweet if you loooooove Hitler’ or a similarly awful message.” It’s also a headache for news sites that embed tweets since they don’t know if the substance of those tweets will be updated. It’s possible that Twitter may implement a “display edit history” button similar to what Facebook and Reddit have done, but not everyone is on board.
“Those who think an edit history for tweets would fix this, please consider the fact that Wikipedia has had an edit history since its beginnings, and is maintained by obsessives who monitor every modification, and yet: Mr. Pringles is named Julius,” Twitter user anildash stated on Twitter. It turns out that since the beginning, Pringles has exclusively referred to its mascot as “Mr. Pringles.” Then, one day, a Wikipedia user with a reputation for making excellent and useful modifications felt that giving Mr. Pringles the first name would be amusing.
“The secret is that when I asked my friend what he thought the Pringles mascot’s name was, he was watching Julius Peppers play football on TV and suggested Julius Peppers, which we thought was a humorous name.”
Nobody was fooled by the ruse. Soon after, news outlets began referring to the mascot as Julius Pringles, and the notion that the Pringles mascot was called Julius Pringles became widely recognized, even making an appearance as a question on the game show Jeopardy. That was eventually used as the mascot’s moniker. Mr. Pringle became Mr. Julius Pringle, and Kelloggs had no choice but to accept it, using it as the mustache man’s new moniker in their publicity materials. To complete the circle, Wikipedia now has a piece detailing how Julius Pringle’s new name came about as a result of the Wikipedia hoax.