Twitter is testing ways limit sharing of articles before a user has read them

With this feature, Twitter wants to curb misinformation and encourage meaningful discussions.


Twitter has announced that it will be testing a new feature that seeks to limit the sharing of articles by users who have not read them.

The support handle of Twitter informed users of the development, writing, "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."

Representational image: Reuters

Representational image: Reuters

In a series of replies to users, Twitter explained that they wanted to test a way to improve the health of a conversation and to "see if reminding people to read an article before they share it leads to more informed discussion."

The social media platform also revealed that if a user taps to retweet an article link, Twitter will check if they have clicked on the article link on Twitter. It added, "When you see the prompt, you'll always have the option to go ahead and Retweet."

The development is the latest from Twitter in an effort to curb misinformation and encourage meaningful discussions. The test is currently limited to Android users in English.

(Also read: Facebook, Twitter, Google to provide monthly reports on their fight against disinformation, says EU)

According to a report in CNET, a 2016 study by Columbia University and the French National Institute found that 59 percent of all articles shared on social media go unclicked and unread. The report quoted co-author of the study Arnaud Legout as saying that people are more willing to share an article than reading it. Legout added that people form an opinion based on a summary or "summary of summaries," without going deeper into the article.


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