Twitter Launches Experimental Feature

Twitter’s New Feature

In latest Twitter news – Twitter will be checking if the articles users are sharing have been read first. Twitter is undergoing this experimental feature to test whether people actually read articles before just sharing them. This new feature is to encourage users to be engaged in discussion of relevance and promote informed discussions. Currently this experimental feature is limited to just Android device users. This new prompt will ask users if they want to share this article before opening it. 

This often results in “click-bait” tweets getting widely spread regardless of the actual content. Click bait is generally created in order to trigger an emotional response, while the article itself might turn out to be less than what the title has promised or may lead the users to believe. This often results in the click bait content becoming the message even if that message is untrue. In order to overcome “Fake News” Twitter’s solution is not to ban such retweets, but to add some more active thought into the process, to try and influence some users into rethink their actions on the social network. This is an approach the company has been taking more frequently recently, in an attempt to improve the “platforms health” without facing accusations of censorship.

Using Twitter for News

More often than not these days, Twitter is a source of News. And as social media becomes more prevalent in our digital society, some news functions that were previously only shared via traditional media sources including newspapers, radio, and TV are being pushed to the side as social media is able to offer many different benefits. Twitter is now known for its up-to-the-minute communication whether that be from reputable “breaking news” accounts, or from less than trustworthy sources. And while Twitter is part of a larger trend, its brief word limit (280 characters), trends element, and news-promoting features make it a unique choice for users who want to be in the know. So it is vital that the information that is trending to actually be true. 

Sharing Clickbait Titles

Some recent studies have shown that fake news on Twitter actually reaches more people, more quickly than real news. These studies also showed that true stories can take up to six times as long to reach the same number of people. A main reason for this phenomenon is that fake “click-bait” stories tend to be more sensational and with stronger emotions, which are precisely the type of stories that get the most attention on social media.

Will this help the clickbait crisis?

This can lead to the increase in false news being spread and the actual true stories and information being ignored. So by Twitter introducing this experiment feature it is with the intention to help deviate this problem and help to make Twitter a more “healthy platform” with reliable information. “We’re trying to encourage people to rethink their behaviour and actions, as well as rethinking their language before posting something they might regret,” Twitter’s global head of site policy for trust and safety said.

Will this feature have the potential to annoy many users who share articles they have already read outside of Twitter, without having clicked a link on Twitter? During this experimental test Twitter will be analysing the results they come across and decide whether or not this is the direction for the future for Twitter.  

In this limited test for only Android device users, Twitter is prompting users to read an article before sharing with the goal is to encourage “informed” discussions on their platform. 

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