In this fast running digital world of ours, the cry of “fake news” is louder than ever. Twitter has recently amped up its efforts to fight the wildfire of fake news by introducing a prompt on retweets feature.
This feature will pop up every time you try to share an article or retweet content. The pop up will give you three options. The first option will be for you to read the article. The second will be to retweet. The third will be to retweet with a comment.
The objective of this feature is to make sure that people who retweet content are aware of what they are retweeting.
Twitter Will Suggest Android Users Read The Articles Every Time They Try Retweeting
Many people will criticize the move by saying that it slows down the process, or that it gets annoyingly less user friendly. But not many of us can say that we have always made sure to completely read the article before retweeting it. And this is what Twitter is trying to battle with this new feature.
Although Twitter is a great way to make good causes viral, it can also be a vice that can spread misinformation. Misinformation has sometimes led to dire consequences. This prompt on retweets seems to be just another responsible way of using the social media platform. No doubt, it will constrict user activity, but it will also prompt people to re-think and reconsider their online decisions.
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. /qdYZ8w9e27
— Kayvon Beykpour (@kayvz) June 10, 2020
Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s product chief, explained that Twitter, as a social media tool, is extremely powerful. But things can go south real fast if used irresponsibly. The function encourages users to retweet only the content that they have read.
The feature has currently been rolled out only for Android. The feature, although slows the process down, it also slows the wildfire of fake news. It further encourages users to engage with what they put out in the digital world for all their followers to see.
Twitter’s Prompt On Retweets Feature – Useful Or Over Controlling?
This is not the first time that a social media platform has tried to resolve this issue.
In 2013, a research article by Slate, in collaboration with Chartbeat, stated that the articles that were seeing the most retweets were not really being read. And the articles that were being read were not receiving many retweets. This goes on to prove that catchy titles are getting the best of us.
Back in 2016, a new algorithm update was announced by Facebook. This update factored in the time the user spent reading the article to determine the ranking of the feed. This meant that the articles with more reading/engaging time, if shared by a user, were likely to reach more audiences than the articles with less reading/engaging time.
Twitter’s new prompt on retweets feature is slightly different from Facebook’s algorithm update. It encourages users to be responsible but does not necessarily take any action on it. Only time, and more data, will tell if this feature is better than Facebook’s algorithm update.