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.