We have to admit that at one time or another, we have been guilty of tweeting and retweeting links to articles we find interesting or agree with without actually reading them. Or, maybe you planned to read them later on. This has become one of the reasons why misinformation and fake news spread on the platform. And so now Twitter is testing out a prompt that would show up whenever you retweet something with a link that you haven’t read yet.
A lot of people share links to news articles, blog posts, links to other websites, maybe to start a conversation or to prove a point or just because. A lot of times though, the headline and the caption are the only things we read before we send them out there, thinking that the whole article is what the headline says it is. But there are also times when the content may be fake, misinformed, or not even what the headline is about.
Twitter says to “help promote informed discussion”, you will now get a prompt if they detect that you haven’t clicked on the link first. The prompt will ask you if you want to read it first before retweeting. It will not prevent you from actually retweeting it whether you read it or not but it’s just a reminder for you to actually read something before you associate it with your account and you as a person. There are no screenshots yet so we don’t know what it exactly looks like.
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
We’re not really sure if this will be a deterrent for those who are bent on spreading misinformation and who don’t believe that reading something is required before tweeting it out. But at least for the thinking public, it can serve as a self-check and reminder to be careful with the information that you send out into the internet world. They are testing it out for Android devices for now but no news when other systems will get it.
This is just the latest Twitter move to encourage more meaningful discussions on the platform and stop or lessen misinformation. They recently launched a filter to control who can reply to your tweets. Previously they let you hide certain replies and also gave a better interface for threaded conversations.