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Twitter prompts all users to “Read Before You Retweet”

Twitter says it is working on getting the “read article before retweet” prompt “soon” to all users. The company began testing the prompt in June, which shows up when people retweet a story they didn’t click through to actually read it.

Twitter says his motivation is to “encourage an informed discussion”. Headlines often don’t tell the full story and can even be actively misleading. Encouraging people to at least read the article they are sharing seems like a clever way to boost media literacy and stop some of the jerky reactions that can make misinformation go viral.

The company shared some results from its first test of the feature, which was limited to Twitter users on Android. It is said that people opened items 40 percent more often, and the overall percentage of people opening items before retweeted increased 33 percent. The company also said that “some people” (a statistically meaningless phrase!) Didn’t retweet the article after it was opened.

Twitter says it is now “working to make these prompts available to everyone around the world soon” and that once users see the prompt, it will be smaller in the future (“because we understand you are getting it”). This isn’t the only feature Twitter has tested to make life better on its platform. Others include a feature that warns users before sending offensive replies and the option to limit who replies to tweets (which has now been rolled out globally).

Hopefully all of this experimentation is just a warm-up exercise for the next logical step: a warning that all users will see before they even tweet anything.

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