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In its latest feature introduced to curb the spread of misinformation, Twitter said on Wednesday that it was testing a new feature that seeks to limit the sharing of articles by users who haven’t read them.
The feature, which asks users whether they have read an article before they retweet it, appears to be aimed at slowing the spread of unverified information which comes after its fact checked President Donald Trump’s tweet on election process last month.
“Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you tweet it,” Twitter’s support team said.
Twitter said it would be testing the feature on its Android application “to help promote informed discussion.”
“When you retweet an article that you haven’t opened on Twitter, we may ask if you’d like to open it first,” the company said.
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.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 10, 2020
In a reply to one user, Twitter noted, “We wanted to test a way to improve the health of a conversation as it gets started.” But it said users will “always have the option” to go ahead with the retweet.
Twitter and other platforms are struggling to contain misinformation, which often is passed along by users who fail to review details of the comments they are sharing.
Last month, Twitter decided to curb the spread of fake news and misinformation by limiting the reach of some comments by President Donald Trump, in one case because they were misleading and in another case because of a violation of platform rules promoting violence.
Trump was quick to react to this development as he tweeted, “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”
The president responded angrily and signed an executive order which could strip away some legal liability protections of social media firms, although it was unclear if the measure can be enforced.
Responding to Trump’s threats, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had said, “We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make.”
This does not make us an “arbiter of truth.” Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions.
— jack (@jack) May 28, 2020
In its official statement issued last month the social media company said, “The public conversation occurring on Twitter is never more important than during elections and other civic events. Any attempts to undermine the integrity of our service is antithetical to our fundamental rights and undermines the core tenets of freedom of expression, the value upon which our company is based.”
“We believe we have a responsibility to protect the integrity of those conversations from interference and manipulation. Therefore, we prohibit attempts to use our services to manipulate or disrupt civic processes, including through the distribution of false or misleading information about the procedures or circumstances around participation in a civic process.”