In recent months Twitter has been thinking about how content is shared on its platform, and in particular viral content, which can often spread quickly regardless of whether the information contained within is accurate or harmful.
It is part of the reason why the platform has announced a new feature that it is testing out on Android devices for now, which will prompt users to read tweets containing linked articles before they retweet.
This won’t happen for all tweets containing linked articles, Twitter explains, but is aimed more specifically at those which are gaining traction on the platform and reaching viral status.
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
“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. This feature (on Android for now) encourages people to read a linked article prior to Retweeting it,” adds Twitter product lead, Kayvon Beykpour.
It remains ti be seen whether this feature will evolve past the test stage, but for now it is only being applied to English tweets on Android devices, as mentioned earlier.
If it does become a fully fledged feature, it would be the latest in a series of ones that the company has rolled out in a bid to fight misinformation on its platform.
With some of Twitter’s more recent actions, and in particular those against that of US president Donald Trump, it should be interesting to see how the leader and his followers would react to such a feature.
They have already cried foul about Trump’s “shooting starts” tweets as censorship, so it would not surprise us if the same rhetoric is used here.
Regardless of how you feel about the feature, it is at least pleasing to see a social media platform looking at how content is shared on its platform.[Image – Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash]