Read before you tweet: Twitter testing reminders for when users share content they haven’t read

2 years ago, the folks over at The Science Post came up with an ingenious social experiment: they slapped a sensational headline on an article that had nothing but Lorem Ipsum. The result? Almost 130,000 shares. How? Why?

The answers may lie in the fact that, obviously, the experiment has been popularized by everyone pointing to it and citing it as an example of what’s broken on social media but also genuine shares from those that shared the article on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook without even bothering to read – and thus find out that they were sharing nothing but the headline.

In a nutshell, that is the story of social media. Anything can be amplified but not necessarily from an informed point of view which is ironical given that all this is happening on the information superhighway. In this day and age where the spread of misinformation is credited for disrupting democratic processes around the world, that can be scary.

Which is why we have seen WhatsApp limiting message forwards.

Twitter, now, is doing its own take: prompting users to click through and read the contents of the link that they are about to share.

“…when you Retweet an article that you haven’t opened on Twitter, we may ask if you’d like to open it first.”

Twitter is running this test with select users on the Android platform using its (Twitter for Android) application.

The feature, for those that run into it, isn’t perfect, though. Which is why it is still under testing.

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