Read Article Prompt

A prompt shown when users reshare a link to an article that they have not opened themselves, nudging them to read the full story before resharing on the platform.

How Does This Mitigate Hate?

Creates a moment of reflection during the process of sharing off-platform articles. Allows for review of potentially misleading articles or information which should be emphasized such as flagged artifacts. This pattern may reduce the amount of hateful reactions to enticing posts from uninformed users. Also, this pattern may serve as an opportunity for platforms to reintroduce safety policies helping to ensure equitable, and safer environments for all.

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When to use it?

Platforms that experience the viral spread of misinformation on their platforms, and aren’t able to quickly target and eliminate the misinformation before it spreads, should use this pattern to create greater friction in the re-share process if users haven’t read the article first.

Including this pattern before the issues arises can prevent the spread of viral misinformation in platforms that provide a reshare option.

How does it work?

To be effective this pattern must detect if the user has actually clicked the link. Provide an interstitial if users attempt to forward or re-share the link without reading the article and encourage them to read the article first.

The option to continue to reshare should be provided with an re introduction of platform rules.

Platforms should track how many users proceed to re-share, read the article then re-share, or cancel re-share altogether.

Advantages

Sharing information without reading more than the headline risks the spread of misinformation, as users don’t take the opportunity to read for themselves and decide whether or not the information seems validated or misinformed.

Providing a prompt for the user before re-sharing creates friction in the process, giving users the chance to reconsider their actions before proceeding, potentially minimizing reactionary comments and the spread of misinformation disinformation.

Disadvantages

There is an overwhelming amount of articles and information, prompting users for every article they share may be time consuming and overwhelming. Personalization or strict guidelines may have to be put in place to ensure informed users are sharing information or content from certain threads, posts, or links.

Examples

Twitter prompts users to read the article first (within twitter) before sharing.
(Screenshot taken September 2021)

References

Abent, Eric. “Twitter on IOS Will Now Prompt Users to Read Articles before They Share Them.” SlashGear, October 2, 2020. https://www.slashgear.com/twitter-on-ios-will-now-prompt-users-to-read-articles-before-they-share-them-02640889/.

“Disallow Sharing of Unclicked Links – Prosocial Design Network.” www.prosocialdesign.org. Accessed September 17, 2021. https://www.prosocialdesign.org/library/disallow-sharing-of-unclicked-links.

Gabielkov, Maksym, Arthi Ramachandran, Augustin Chaintreau, and Arnaud Legout. “Social Clicks: What and Who Gets Read on Twitter?,” 2016. https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01281190.