Twitter has announced another new feature to curb fake news on the platform. Twitter will prompt users to open articles before they retweet a post. The microblogging platform is firstly testing the feature with Android users only. It is likely to soon introduce the feature to global iOS users too in the coming weeks.
Many Twitter users often share or retweet posts by just reading the captions or headlines. This can often lead to the faster spread of fake news or misleading content. It is particularly plausible in the case of clickbait which are known for their misleading headlines. Thus, Twitter is introducing this new feature which will encourage users to open and read articles before retweeting. A prompt message will automatically pop up on the screen whenever a Twitter user decides to retweet an article without opening the link.
Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter Product Lead has said, “It’s easy for links/articles to go viral on Twitter. This can be powerful but sometimes dangerous, especially if people haven’t read the content they’re spreading. This feature (on Android for now) encourages people to read a linked article prior to Retweeting it.”
It has been one of the many steps that Twitter is incorporating to battle fake news and rumours on the platform. It had also initiated a label to fact check articles and posts discussing 5G and the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The move had come after several 5G towers were set ablaze over certain rumours.
It was claimed that wireless 5G networks may carry the novel coronavirus and impact a large number of people. However, the claims were later dismissed by several authorities. Notably, the leading tech giants Google and Apple also had to intervene to debunk the false claims.
The clickable label has been entitled; “Get the facts about Covid-19.” It takes users to authorised government agencies and fact-checking organisations that have already exposed the claims connecting 5G and coronavirus.
The company had shared in a statement that it had introduced warning messages and labels to offer additional context on Tweets that include disputed claims or misleading information on COVID-19. Furthermore, the platform may also start removing certain tweets that contain a call to action and can cause potential harm to platform users.
The company had also released its Fleets feature quite recently in India which is similar to the Instagram stories. You can now share texts, photos, GIFs, and videos through the Twitter Fleets for 24 hours. Furthermore, Twitter is also testing a new feature that offers users more control over who can reply to their tweets. Twitter users can opt to open replies to everyone, users/accounts they follow, or just people specifically mentioned in the post.