One of the biggest social networking platforms in the world, Twitter, has taken up its battle armour and ready to square off with a giant. That giant is viral misinformation. The company has said it is working on a “read the article before you retweet it” prompt for all users soon. The company began testing the prompt in June, which shows up when people head off to retweet a story they haven’t clicked through to actually read.
Smart analytics make an appearance here, forming a certain kind of barrier. This barrier is designed to alert people from retweeting a story that they have not actually read, allowing a thought process from the user before deciding they want to retweet it. This would stop knee-jerk reactions when it comes to the sharing of information that may not always be factual.
Headlines often don’t tell the whole story and can even be actively misleading. Encouraging people to at least read the article they are sharing seems like a smart way to promote media literacy, and a degree of knowing the impact false information can have on people.
The company shared some results from its initial test of the feature, which was limited to Twitter users on Android. It says people shown the prompt opened articles 40 per cent more often and that the overall proportion of people opening articles before retweeting increased by 33 per cent.
Twitter says it is now working on bringing these prompts to everyone globally soon. This is not the only feature Twitter has been testing to improve life on its platform. Others include a feature that warns users before they send offensive replies and the option to limit who replies to tweets which has now been rolled out globally and you have probably already noticed on your account.