Facebook tests 'Read First' prompts to check misinformation
Amidst the overflow of information being disseminated across the social media platforms, stopping the spread of false information and fake news has become more important than ever. In this vein, social media giant Facebook recently announced that it has begun testing a new prompt that urges users to read the articles before sharing them on the platform.
Facebook said that the new feature will ensure "informed sharing of news articles," with the intention of discouraging users from sharing news articles carrying misleading headlines. Whenever a user attempts to share a news article without actually clicking on the link, Facebook will serve the prompt. This should encourage users to read articles before sharing the link with others.
The new prompt on Facebook will notify users that sharing an article without reading it may lead to them missing out on key facts. However, the new feature may not show up for everyone. As revealed to Recode by the company's spokesperson, Facebook will start testing the feature on around six percent of its global Android users.
Starting today, we’re testing a way to promote more informed sharing of news articles. If you go to share a news article link you haven’t opened, we’ll show a prompt encouraging you to open it and read it, before sharing it with others. pic.twitter.com/brlMnlg6Qg— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) May 10, 2021
Meanwhile, Twitter had rolled out this feature to its users in June last year, asking them to first read the articles before retweeting them on the platform. The company later informed that the prompt urged people to open articles 40 percent more often. The feature also resulted in a 33 percent increase in people who open articles before retweeting them.
📰 More reading – people open articles 40% more often after seeing the prompt— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) September 24, 2020
📰 More informed Tweeting – people opening articles before RTing increased by 33%
📰 Some people didn’t end up RTing after opening the article – which is fine! Some Tweets are
best left in drafts 😏
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook recently said that misinformation is an ongoing challenge for the company and that there will always be things that they miss. However, he proudly added that his suite of apps and services are doing more to address misinformation than any other company. Zuckerberg was addressing the issue of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and elections before Congress in the United States.