You Can't Share This Article on Twitter Until You Read It
Twitter is testing a feature to combat fake news amid COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter protests.
Twitter is currently testing a feature that will ask users to open an article before they retweet it and share it with their followers, if they haven't already read it. The social media platform announced yesterday on its support account that they were testing the "new prompt" on Android devices in order to "help promote informed discussion." The feature will roll out to other devices after testing.
"Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it," the platform tweeted alongside news of the new feature.
This prompt comes at a time when false information is spreading across social media platforms rapidly—like myths that having a flu shot in the past 10 years causes a false positive for COVID-19 tests, or recently, rumors that Black Lives Matter protestors had defaced the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., with graffiti.
NEW: Twitter has, apparently, added a warning box before you retweet news stories. Looks like they want to encourage people to read more than just the headline. Imagine that! pic.twitter.com/K6E5oE5lgI
— Dave Malkoff (@malkoff) June 10, 2020
Twitter rolled out another feature in May to help combat false or misleading information about the coronavirus, where tweets containing disputed or false information about COVID-19 are hidden with a warning that links users to a "Twitter-curated page or external trusted source containing additional information on the claims made within the Tweet."
This feature garnered controversy when it was used to flag two tweets from President Donald Trump after he tweeted out a claim that mail-in ballots were automatically "fraudulent," in a time when many are considering mail in-ballots to avoid voting in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Twitter says the prompt will only apply to links from news outlet domains, and they won't be searching through your internet history, as the feature will only check if you've recently clicked on the article link through Twitter. That means that if you've read the article through another app or directly on the site, Twitter will still prompt you to click the link via their platform. Rest assured, however, that you can easily click through the prompt and still retweet the article without opening it on Twitter. And for myths you don't want to spread, check out these 7 Fake Coronavirus News Stories You Need to Ignore.