Twitter is rolling out a new feature that should help promote a more informed discussion on its platform. A new prompt is being tested on Twitter for Android that asks if you'd like to actually read the article you're about to retweet if you haven't actually opened it in the app.
Twitter's news was announced, as you might expect, via a Tweet from Twitter Support, and based on reports, it's already live in the wild, though the test may be a little buggy right now.
I did read it, actually 🤔 pic.twitter.com/sqikMwu0pV
— Eric Tendian (@EricTendian) June 10, 2020
The new prompt has a big (slightly admonishing) "Headlines don't tell the full story" header. Below that, it asks if you'd like to read the article before retweeting, offering a link to it in a highlighted button. Under that are the two retweeting options to continue. While nothing is keeping you from ignoring the new prompt and just mashing "Retweet," at least you'll be even more aware of your actions — if it works right, anyway.
At least one user who has seen the additional prompt (above) claims it's isn't appearing on all attempts to retweet an article, and it also appears on articles that have been read, though these variations themselves may be part of the ongoing test.
While some have argued that this test is Twitter's attempt to show higher click-through rates for some nefarious purpose, the lack of informed discourse on social media as a whole has been a long-standing blight on the public discourse. It's essentially a meme at this point that the vast majority of participants at venues like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit are incapable of reading past headlines before the peanut gallery launches into an ignorant tirade in comments. Hopefully, this change makes a difference in the quality of discussion, and maybe other social media platforms will follow in Twitter's footsteps if it does.