Twitter is rolling out a new prompt for Android users to promote informed discussions before retweeting a story

Never judge a book by its cover. Similarly, never judge a piece of news by its headline alone.

Twitter is now trying to make sure that people stop sharing tweets and posts containing linked articles without reading them first. Sometimes people only read the headlines and share the post without reading the full article.

So, to help people with something so basic, Twitter is now testing a new feature for Android users that will prompt them to pause, take a breath, read the full story first, and then retweet it or comment on it if they wish.

This is one of the biggest challenges of modern times. People are so busy with everything else that they do not even have time to read the articles that they re-post and share with their friends. This is a major source of the spread of misinformation and false propaganda when posts get viral without anyone looking into their depth or correctness of their content.

This often becomes a major cause of social media wars and heated arguments. While it is healthy and quite encouraged to have discussions about relevant topics with other people and engage in social topics, but when both the parties are not completely informed about the topic, their debates are also futile and worthless, and mostly, it all turns into a complete wastage of time and energy.

So, now Twitter is taking this new approach to help promote informed discussions in an educated and knowledgeable environment on its platform.

This feature will be available for Android users for now, and it will encourage them to check the story for factual errors.

This is a great initiative by Twitter because it is a common practice where people on social media ask questions in the comments under the post when those questions have already been answered in the post itself. Although it is extremely silly, it has its dangerous effects too. As mentioned before, such a practice can become a source of falsified, misleading reports that can harm someone else. So, this becomes a vicious cycle of misinformation, and it is not at all encouraged by any app.

Many social media platforms have been trying to solve this problem for many years. In 2013, Slate and Chartbeat highlighted this issue in one of its articles about how people are quick to share posts on social media when they do not read them first.

Facebook also updated its News Feed algorithm in 2016 to see how much time do people spend on reading an article after clicking a link, or how quickly people share the articles, so that predictions can be made whether they spent some time reading those articles before sharing them or not?

Now, with Twitter’s new feature, there is definitely going to be friction that will enable the users to stop, read, and understand before jumping to retweet something. People will be encouraged to know what information they are spreading and whether it is authentic or not? Whether it will help anyone in real, or just cause harm to whoever reads it?

But on the downside, people may see it as an annoying hindrance, and that is going to be a little troublesome. But the motive behind Twitter’s action is good and its benefits are more, so let us wait and see how people actually react to this feature once it rolls out.


Screenshot: Twitter / @nomi49.

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