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Twitter Moves To Stop Users From Sharing Articles They Have Never Read

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Zero Hedge
June 12, 2020

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

After sparking a White House campaign to deny social media platforms the liability they have historically enjoyed as supposedly ‘neutral’ platforms adhering to the ‘fairness doctrine’,Twitter is taking another step to fight abuse and rage-tweeting on its platform by cracking down on users who share news articles without reading them first.

How will Twitter accomplish this? According to the Guardian, the company has introduced a new prompt, similar to its prompt about ‘hateful language’, that will create more “friction” between users attempting to ‘share’ links that they haven’t ever clicked on. Studies have found that the vast majority of these tweets involve users ignorantly responding to a salacious headline, instead of the more nuanced point being made in an article.

Twitter has been obsessed with barring “hate speech” and any other speech that makes its most militantly progressive users uncomfortable, which of course includes political speech with which they don’t agree. During the process, the company has cracked down on conservatives and independent media outlets like Zero Hedge while allowing leftists to say whatever they please, or harass whoever they please.

The prompt will first be rolled out on Android phones only as the company tries to gauge the effectiveness of the policy.

“Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you tweet it,” Twitter said in a statement. “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.”

The problem of users sharing links without reading them is not new. A 2016 study from computer scientists at Columbia University and Microsoft found that 59% of links posted on Twitter are never clicked.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Less academically sound, but more telling, was another article posted that same year with the headline “Study: 70% of Facebook users only read the headline of science stories before commenting” – the fake news website the Science Post has racked up a healthy 127,000 shares for the article which is almost entirely lorem ipsum filler text.

We have a difficult time imagining how a tool that effectively forces more users to think for themselves – instead of just blindly parroting the opinions of others – might foster a more corrosive environment than currently exists on the platform.

This article was posted: Friday, June 12, 2020 at 3:06 am





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