Defeat the Retweet: Twitter Adds Steps to Avoid Spread of Misinformation (And Bad Jokes You’ll Later Regret)

Twitter wants to prevent tweets from going viral. “Say what?” you exclaim. “Isn’t that the whole point of tweeting? The one-in-a-million-chance that my most mundane thought will go viral?”

Let’s back up. We all know by now that social media has a fake news problem. Because everything is hinging on bots and algorithms, misinformation can spread like an STI at Burning Man. Now that an election is drawing near, social media sites have suddenly grown a conscience (and a pair) and decided to do something about it.

Twitter’s solution is a digital speed bump. The next time you try to retweet something, you’ll be met with a screen that allows you to add commentary to your retweet. (‘Cause what the world needs now is more opinions.) You can forgo the commentary, but it’ll take a few extra steps to get your retweet in front of your followers.

“We hope it will encourage everyone to not only consider why they are amplifying a tweet, but also increase the likelihood that people add their own thoughts, reactions and perspectives to the conversation,” Twitter said in an announcement about the new feature.

But wait! There’s more! If you try to retweet a tweet that was flagged with a misinformation label, you’ll get an alert informing you “This is disputed,” followed by a link that provides more info on the topic in question.

Another change: Twitter will suspend “liked by” and “followed by” recommendations on your feed in an effort to slow down how soon you see tweets from accounts you don’t follow.

A final feature to be implemented (and one that is clearly directed at President Trump): Twitter has vowed to remove tweets from political candidates who claim election victory before state election officials or two “authoritative, national news outlets” confirm the results.

Here’s lookin’ at you, he who tweets non-stop from the toilet…

How about we all just quit Twitter now? It stopped being fun and original about, oh, 10 years ago, and the fact that it’s Trump’s favorite social media platform is all the proof we need that it needs to be put out to pasture. Where’s a “Bury It” button when you need it?

Cover Photo: Twitter

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