Tech

Facebook will try to make sure you’ve read an article before you share it

Facebook is a platform designed for sharing, but with the amount of misinformation, fake news and just plain nonsense being shared on Facebook every day, it’s become a big problem. 

On Monday, Facebook announced it will start testing a new feature that will nudge users to actually read an article before they share it. If you try to share a news article link that you haven’t opened, Facebook will show a prompt encouraging you to open it and read it. 

“You’re about to share this article without opening it,” the prompt says. “Sharing articles without reading them may mean missing key facts.”

Even if a user hasn’t read the article, though, they’ll still be able to share it by tapping on the “Continue Sharing” button. 

Facebook’s initiative follows a similar feature Twitter started testing in June 2020. A few months later, Twitter followed up with the results, which were encouraging. According to the company, its users opened articles 40% more often after seeing the prompt, and they opened articles before retweeting them 33% more often. Finally, some users gave up on retweeting after actually reading the article. 

Facebook is different from Twitter in many ways, but Twitter’s results are still a decent indicator that this kind of nudging will make users think twice before sharing something they haven’t read. 



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