Twitter has just launched a new feature that is about to attempt the impossible: Getting people to actually read documents and links before they send them out. It’s an almost possible thing to comprehend in a time when the chance of a Tweet going viral is directly counter-intuitive to the number of people who have actually read their links. After all, some clickbait headline that somehow agrees with your uninformed viewpoint is more than enough to pass on rather than wasting time reading the article to see that it has no logical references or foundation.
Twitter announced the new feature which will prompt users to open it and read a link/document before simply retweeting. It won’t stop them from passing on the information, but Twitter is hoping the prompt will help people think before they tweet. Something which we all know is not going to happen.
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
For now, the feature is only available to Android users in English. It’s not clear if and when Twitter plans to bring it out to more operating systems and languages, though I’m pretty sure they will at some point in time in the near future. The company has been at the centre of misinformation complaints for a long time and unfortunately, people continue to spread false information around faster than they do valid information. I’m doubtful this will change anything, but I guess at least they’re trying.
Last Updated: June 11, 2020