Facebook is testing a new way to combat the spread of misinformation on its platform. Starting this week, the social media giant will show a pop-up that prompts users to read the articles before sharing them with others. This will enable “informed sharing of news articles,” the company said.
The pop-up is shown when someone tries to share an article that they haven’t opened on Facebook yet, encouraging them to read it first. “You’re about to share this article without opening it. Sharing articles without reading them may mean missing key facts,” the pop-up reads.
Users can tap on the “Open Article” button to read it before sharing it with others. This will allow them to make more informed decisions. The “Continue Sharing” button will let them share the article anyway though. This button is particularly handy if you have read the article elsewhere and decided to share it when you see it pop up on your news feed.
Facebook announced this news via Twitter, which already has a similar measure in place. Twitter started testing this feature in June last year saying “headlines don’t tell the full story”. It prompts users to read the articles before tweeting them out.
In September, the company revealed that people opened articles 40 percent more often after seeing the prompt. Moreover, people opening articles before retweeting also increased by 33 percent within the first three months of this feature rolling out. Quite clearly, it was a successful idea and Facebook is now copying it as well.
Facebook is testing a Twitter-like ‘read first’ prompt on its platform
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are often criticized for not doing much to control the spread of misinformation. To be fair to them, they have introduced several measures over the years but the issue is still highly prevalent. To that end, Facebook is now joining Twitter in prompting users to read an article before sharing it with others so they don’t end up sharing fake news.
The company hasn’t shared many details about this new measure to combat the spread of misinformation on its platform. However, a company spokesperson told The Verge that the initial test run would be rolling out to six percent of Android users worldwide. It’s unclear for how long this testing phase would run before Facebook rolls out the new feature to all users globally. We will keep you updated as and when we have more information.