Skip to main content

Twitter tests prompt asking you to read an article before retweeting

Twitter announced on Wednesday that it is testing a new feature to “promote informed discussion” — a “prompt” that will basically tell you to read an article before you share it.

The company said in a tweet Wednesday that the feature is being tested for Android users and will alert the user to first open the link they plan on sharing before retweeting it.

This move comes after weeks of multiple feature updates Twitter has been testing to quell the spread of misinformation and harassment on its platform. In May, the social media site launched a feature that allows users to pick and choose who gets to reply to their tweets. Twitter’s option to hide replies has also been around since September 2019.

“It’s easy for links/articles to go viral on Twitter,” Kayvon Beykpour, the company’s product lead, said in a tweet Wednesday. “This can be powerful but sometimes dangerous, especially if people haven’t read the content they’re spreading.”

And as the coronavirus began to spread across the globe, the company issued misinformation warnings in front of hundreds of tweets, including President Trump’s, instructing users to seek additional information.

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

Many social media users are guilty of retweeting articles based on headlines, not article content — especially in cases of trending or breaking news.

For example, one study conducted by computer scientists at Columbia University found 59% of links shared on social media were never clicked on before they were shared with peers. 

In a statement to Digital Trends, a Twitter spokesperson said there are no “additional expansion timelines to share at this time” and that the feature, for now, “is limited to a subset of Twitter for Android users in the U.S. using English settings.”

Meira Gebel
Meira Gebel is a freelance reporter based in Portland. She writes about tech, social media, and internet culture for Digital…
More Twitter users will soon see fact-check notes on tweets
The Twitter app on the Sony XPeria 5 II.

Birdwatch, Twitter's community fact-checking pilot program, is expanding and getting a few updates. And for users in the U.S. that means more of them will be seeing a few tweets in their timelines that feature notes which add context to the tweets themselves.

On Wednesday, the official Twitter account for the bird app's Birdwatch program posted a series of tweets announcing its expansion.

Read more
Twitter’s latest features are all about curbing election misinformation
Twitter's new election-specific features shown on a smartphone.

As the midterm elections approach in the U.S., one social media platform this week has announced further measures it will take to combat misinformation in the lead-up to this fall's congressional elections.

On Thursday, Twitter published a blog post in which it detailed its plans on curtailing misinformation on its platform, especially as it relates to the 2022 U.S. midterm elections. Of particular note was a series of new misinformation-related features Twitter plans to launch for use in the months leading up to the midterm elections.

Read more
You no longer have an excuse to forget alt text on your Twitter photos
Twitter logo in white stacked on top of a blue stylized background with the Twitter logo repeating in shades of blue.

People have beenTweeting images with alt text since March, complete with the alt badge and exposed image descriptions. Now, Twitter is taking things a step further. Starting today, you're going to receive reminders to add alt text to images if you try to post one without it.

Twitter announced the news on Wednesday, July 13, that it has launched alt text alert reminders to 10% of users on iOS, Android, and the web. According to a report on The Verge, spokesperson Shaokyi Amdo said that the feature is optional. The reminder will appear as a pop-up before an image is posted without alt text, and users will have the option to add the alt text or skip the process by tapping or clicking "not this time."

Read more