Twitter Announce New Feature To Tackle Misinformation After Successful Trial
The announcement follows the introduction earlier this year of labels and warning notices being used to alert Twitter users of unreliable or misleading information regarding Covid-19. If you are affected by anything touched on within this article, follow the links to our various support services or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to start using Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.
Twitter have announced a new feature for users in an effort to stem the spread of potentially harmful misinformation. The new feature prompts users to “read the article before you retweet it”, and shows up when people try to retweet a story that they haven’t clicked through to actually read themselves. It is hoped the changes will help create more informed discussions – if people are at least prepared to read what they are sharing.
The company have shared data from trials of the feature earlier this year in June which shows how people responding to the prompt opened articles 40 percent more often, and that the overall proportion of people opening articles before retweeting increased by 33 percent.
“In an effort to help start healthier conversations we want to help people know what they are sharing, so when someone is about to retweet an article but they haven’t clicked into the linked article, they’ll see a prompt asking if they’d like to open the article before sharing.”
Lauren Alexander, Twitter spokesperson
This latest move follows the introduction earlier this year of labels and warning notices being used to alert Twitter users of unreliable or misleading information regarding COVID-19, as well as providing access to guidance on COVID-19 from authoritative sources of global and local public health information.
The overall intention to reduce the spread of misinformation by asking users to think more about the source and validity of what they are sharing, has been met with a largely positive response, however, some experts argue that the changes do little to stop state actors or anyone else who intentionally works to spread misinformation.
“Serving the public conversation remains our overarching mission, and we’ll keep working to build tools and offer context so that people can find credible and authentic information on Twitter.”
Twitter, have focused their narrative on the testing and effectiveness of these new measures, as well as their plans to roll out the feature to all users. They have also spoken of their intention to continue developing innovative new ways of enabling healthy and informed public conversation.
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