In its latest attempt to combat the spread of misinformation online, Twitter has done the unthinkable: asking us to actually read articles before we share them.
The new feature, announced Wednesday, will ask users if they want to open a link first before they share it on Twitter. The platform will be testing the feature with Android users.
“It’s easy for links/articles to go viral on Twitter. This can be powerful but sometimes dangerous, especially if people haven’t read the content they’re spreading,” wrote Twitter’s product lead, Kayvon Beykpour in a tweet. “This feature (on Android for now) encourages people to read a linked article prior to Retweeting it.”
Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it.
To help promote informed discussion, we're testing a new prompt on Android –– when you Retweet an article that you haven't opened on Twitter, we may ask if you'd like to open it first.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 10, 2020
The announcement follows other recent moves from Twitter to crack down on harmful content and misinformation on the platform. In March, Twitter expanded its misinformation policies to ban content about the coronavirus pandemic that contradicts official advice from public health authorities. In May, the platform announced new warning labels would be applied to tweets containing potentially misleading information, and by the end of the month the platform made headlines for flagging two tweets about mail-in voting by President Donald Trump with a label encouraging users to “get the facts.”
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