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Facebook will force users to read the article before sharing

The next time you try to share an article without reading it, Facebook may ask you to think again. The company will begin testing a new feature inviting users to open and read articles before sharing them on the platform. The edition told in more detail VOX.

Photo: Shutterstock

A company spokesman said Facebook will begin testing this feature on approximately 10% of Android users starting May 6. Twitter began testing a similar feature last June and rolled it out to all of its users in September.

Facebook's move is the latest example of social media companies trying to slow the rampant spread of misinformation and malicious content on their platforms.

Some social media researchers have long advocated this kind of clue that they hope will minimize people's reaction to a provocative headline without actually getting the fuller context of the story.

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But since these features are relatively new, it is unclear how much these measures will actually work, and whether people will just skip prompts and share the news anyway without reading them. And even if someone clicks on an article after Facebook asks them to, there is no guarantee that they will actually read the entire story.

Facebook announced the news on its Twitter account with an image of what the tooltip would look like.

If you open an article without clicking on it, Facebook will tell you the following:

“You are going to share this article without opening it. Publishing articles without reading them can mean missing out on key facts. " The company will then prompt users to either open the article first or continue publishing without reading.

There are some early signs that even if such features do not completely stop the spread of false information, they will at least help people read more news.

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Back in September, Twitter shared its impressions after it started testing a similar feature on its Android app. The data showed that hints encouraged people to open articles 40% more often.

Twitter also launched a feature last week to encourage people to review "offensive" tweets. And in the run-up to the 2020 US presidential election, both Twitter and Facebook have begun battling misleading information on their platforms by tagging politically misleading tweets and preventing users from “liking” or responding to those messages.

Social media companies have a variety of leverage they can use to slow down or stop the spread of harmful and divisive information.

Complete blocking of accounts (as Facebook and Twitter did with Donald Trump) is one of them, but it is a controversial option and in many cases too crude a tool. Features like the one Facebook launched have the potential to do more and gradually change the way posts are posted on the platform.

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