Commentary

Twitter Would Like Users To Be Better Informed

In an attempt to turn the tables on critics, Twitter is suggesting that users better inform themselves about the articles they share on its platform.

To do so, the company will begin prompting people to read articles before sharing them with followers -- a move already irritating many users.

“Did you read the article you’re about to spread?” Twitter’s cofounder/CEO Jack Dorsey asked his 4.7 million followers on Wednesday.

Still in testing, the feature is designed to “promote informed discussion,” according to Twitter’s support team.

“We wanted to test a way to improve the health of a conversation as it gets started,” the support team explained. “And to see if reminding people to read an article before they share it leads to more informed discussion.”

Now, when a select number of Android users attempt to retweet articles that they haven’t opened on Twitter, they will be asked if they would first like to open them.

advertisement

advertisement

In response to the test, some users spent Wednesday trashing Twitter for suggesting that they aren’t sufficiently aware of the content they share.

“Who made you god and how do you know what i am doing in my other Browser tabs?” one user asked. “Also, why are you tracking what I read?”

"Remove it, we [aren’t your] kids,” another user tweeted at Dorsey.

At least in part, the test seems like a response to years of accusations that Twitter hasn’t done enough to stop the spread of misinformation on its platform.

If only users knew what they were sharing, there wouldn’t be so much sketchy content circulating throughout its ecosystem, Twitter appears to be implying.

One critical bit of data that Twitter didn’t share on Wednesday was how often users share articles before reading them.

Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator, speculated that it might be more than half, but didn’t offer any rationale for his reasoning.

Bigger picture, both Twitter and Facebook have been engaged in efforts to promote more “meaningful” experiences on their platforms, while discouraging the spread of misinformation.

As part of that effort, Twitter just recently began attaching warning labels to some of President Trump’s tweets.
2 comments about "Twitter Would Like Users To Be Better Informed".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. pj bednarski from MediaPost.com, June 11, 2020 at 5:06 p.m.

    What next? Educating voters? 

  2. John Grono from GAP Research replied, June 11, 2020 at 6:27 p.m.

    Is an educated POTUS out of the question?

Next story loading loading..