Twitter’s ‘Informed Discussion’ seeks to eliminate misinformation by preventing articles from being shared without having read them
In June, Twitter started with a test feature on Android to promote “informed discussion” on the platform, something that discussions on social media rarely happen to and are riddled with misinformation.
The experimental message appeared for users who were going to retweet an article that they had not clicked to open and gave the suggestion to read it before retweeting, something that according to Twitter works and users opened the articles before sharing them with 40% more more often than without help.
For their part, users in the test group apparently opened an article and then retweeted it 33% more than they did without the test message, to which Twitter explains that it is easy for articles to go viral on the web. social, sometimes this can be great for sharing information, but it can also be detrimental to speech, especially if people haven’t read what they are tweeting.
We shouldn't have to say this, but you should read an article before you Tweet it. https://t.co/Apr9vZb2iI
So, we’ve been prompting some people to do exactly that. Here’s what we’ve learned so far. ⤵️
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) September 24, 2020
Twitter seeks to eradicate disinformation
It seems like a small product change, but steps like this, and ideally much larger, could be key to changing the social media landscape to something less toxic and reactionary, other test messages on Twitter and Instagram warn users before share content that could be harmful or offensive.
After building tight platforms for users to share and engage as much as possible, introducing friction into that experience seems counterintuitive, but inspiring even a moment of pause in user behavior could address a number of deep-seated problems in social media. .
But reprogramming user behavior away from impulsivity could help undermine the virality of misinformation, bullying, hyperpolarization, and other systemic issues that we are now seeing seeping through the thin barrier between online and offline life.