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Twitter is calling you out: This feature encourages users to read articles before sharing

(SOCIAL MEDIA) This feature from Twitter has some mixed feelings, but is already making strides in encouraging mindful sharing and slowing misinformation.

Person reading Twitter on phone seated on bench with coffee cup.

Everyone reads an article before retweeting it, right? Well, not everyone does, and Twitter will snitch on you if you don’t! In hopes of getting users to read articles before sharing them, Twitter started prompting some users to read an article before they retweeted.

In a tweet from Twitter Support, the company said, “Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it.” The social media platform aims to “promote informed discussion” by checking whether you have recently clicked on the article you are about to share. If you haven’t looked at the link recently, you are prompted to confirm if you want to share the article or not.

This “read before you retweet” prompt is a good way of getting people to read the content they are spreading. Without first reading what you are sharing, misleading stories with false information can spread into a virtual wildfire. Personally, I feel this is one of the few good things Twitter is doing right.

If you haven’t already started receiving the “Headlines don’t tell the full story” message, you soon might. Currently, the company is working on bringing the prompts to everyone globally, and they have a good reason for doing so.

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Back in June, Twitter started testing the new prompt on a limited number of Android users first. Although the company has only been testing this feature for a few months now, they have already started seeing very promising results. According to the company’s tweet, they have seen three major changes.

First, more people are finally reading. Can you imagine that? After seeing the prompt, 40 percent more people have opened the link to read the article.

Secondly, there has been a rise in “informed tweeting”. More people are not just opening articles. There has been a 33 percent increase in the number of people opening articles before they are even thinking of retweeting them.

Lastly, they have seen some people forgo retweeting the article after opening it up. This means people are choosing to be mindful of the content they want to share.

Twitter has yet to say when the prompt will roll out to everyone, but the results they’ve received are good. Also, you don’t have to worry about the pop-up being so large and annoying, mostly. After you’ve seen the prompt once, it will be smaller the next time you see it. But if you don’t want to see it at all, just read the article before tapping retweet.

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Veronica Garcia has a Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Science in Radio/TV/Film from The University of Texas at Austin. When she’s not writing, she’s in the kitchen trying to attempt every Nailed It! dessert, or on the hunt trying to find the latest Funko Pop! to add to her collection.

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