Before Sharing An Article On Facebook, Users Are Advised To Read It

On Monday, Facebook announced that it is testing a new feature that will ask users to open and read an article before posting it on the social media site.

According to the company, people in the test will soon see a prompt warning them that sharing an article without reading it can cause them to miss “key information.” They’ll be given the choice of either opening the news article or continuing to share.

“We’re testing a way to promote more informed sharing of news articles. If you 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,” Facebook said in a tweet from its official Newsroom account.

According to The Verge, which cites a company spokesperson, the test will be rolled out to 6% of Android users worldwide. The change is intended to reduce the spread of false information on its website.

The pop-up message will alert users that if they don’t open the post, they risk missing “important facts.” “Demotions for content on Facebook and Instagram that our systems predict could be disinformation, including debunked statements about voting,” according to Facebook.

The new functionality is modeled after a similar initiative launched by Twitter last year for similar reasons.

Facebook and Twitter have been working to fight disinformation on their platforms about a variety of subjects, including the current COVID-19 pandemic and misleading allegations of election fraud in 2020.

Pakistan Suspends Social Media Platforms Following Violent Protests

Following violent protests by a radical religious party that has now been outlawed by the government, Pakistan has temporarily suspended the services of social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp to prevent them from being used to organize demonstrations.

Following three days of violent protests to compel the government to expel the French ambassador over a blasphemous caricature published in France last year, the government outlawed Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) on Thursday.

Following the arrest of its leader, Saad Hussain Rizvi, the TLP organized a nationwide protest on Monday. Earlier this week, TLP supporters clashed with law enforcement officers in many towns and cities, killing seven people and injuring over 300 cops.

The Interior Ministry ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to suspend social media services for four hours on April 16th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. PST (GMT+5) to prevent protests after Friday prayers.

The PTA did not provide a reason for the suspension, but official sources said it was suspected that demonstrators would use social media to organize demonstrations. In Pakistan, suspending internet and cell phone services is a common practice to prevent demonstrations and terrorist attacks.

However, only social media has been targeted this time since the TLP was allegedly using it successfully to counteract government action. Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the Interior Minister, cautioned the TLP on Thursday not to use YouTube to distribute propaganda images.