Twitter is designed to be consumed quickly, hence the very limited number of characters you’re allowed to use when sharing your thoughts. It makes the social media platform much easier to scroll through and identify accounts that you enjoy while never having to interrupt your search for fire memes with unnecessary text.
But the downside of easy browsing is that many folks often retweet without actually thinking about what they’re promoting. With the current problems around falsified and sensationalised news stories, retweeting without properly reading can signal to boost some messages which just shouldn’t be shared widely. Thus, Twitter now wants to encourage users to read before they share and they’re implementing measures to achieve their goal.
Some users will now be prompted to click a link if they retweet an article without reading it first. According to the Twitter Support account, the social media platform will only monitor if a user has read an article through Twitter and not any other sites on the internet. Twitter has stated that the new feature, which will hopefully serve as a reminder to actually read an article before sharing, will hopefully “empower healthy and informed public conversation.”
Android users will be the first to test the new system as Twitter seems more dedicated than ever to throttle the rate at which incorrect information is spread across the platform. Towards the end of last month, Twitter implemented a “fact-check” tag on two of US President Donald Trump’s tweets, indicating to readers that the information contained in the tweets was false.
Twitter has often been accused of not doing enough to stifle the flow of “fake news” yet one has to wonder if the addition of a “read reminder” will actually encourage people who partake in nonsense articles, lies and conspiracy theories to actually change. Still, step in the right direction.