Twitter test asks you to open an article before you share it

You might see fewer people blindly sharing stories.

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KRAKOW, POLAND - 2018/11/27: Twitter app is seen on an android mobile phone. (Photo by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter is about to deal with one of the greatest threats to meaningful discussions on the internet: people who forward articles they haven’t even read. It’s starting an Android test that asks you if you’d like to open an article you’re about to retweet. This should help foster “informed discussion,” the company said.

The social network told Engadget it doesn’t have a timeline for bringing the feature to iOS.

It’s not surprising that Twitter would explore a feature like this. The company is stepping up its fight against misinformation as the 2020 US presidential election looms, and encouraging users to read what they’re sharing could prevent false claims from spreading as widely as they might otherwise. WhatsApp has forwarding limits on messages for similar reasons. Twitter clearly doesn’t expect everyone to use their critical thinking skills before sharing a bogus article with friends, but even a momentary pause might be enough in some cases.

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