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Twitter Wants You to Think Before You Retweet

By Rich Duprey – Oct 21, 2020 at 11:55AM

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It's temporarily changing how users engage with the platform to slow retweets down.

Twitter (TWTR) wants you to take a moment to think about what you're retweeting, at least until the election is over. The social media platform says it added "friction" to the process of retweeting that impedes a user's ability to immediately share a tweet.

After clicking on the retweet icon, the Quote Tweet dialogue box now opens to encourage you to add something to what you're retweeting. It's not required, and you can continue by leaving the space blank, but the pause is an attempt to slow users down and maybe give them a moment of reflection.

Man pressing social media icons on smartphone

Image source: Getty Images.

Deeper into controversy

Twitter announced the change nearly two weeks ago, but it didn't go into effect until yesterday. It also comes after the platform received significant backlash for banning a story from The New York Post purportedly showing emails found on the laptop of Hunter Biden, the son of former vice president Joe Biden, contradicting his claim he never discussed his son's business dealings with him.

Although there was no evidence the story was part of a misinformation claim or came from hacked sources, Twitter said the story violated its Hacked Materials Policy and it also banned a follow-up article by the paper. It then locked the Post's Twitter account.

Even though Twitter tweaked its policy to allow the story to be shared, the article link still contains a warning it may be "unsafe" to read and the Post's account remains locked because it won't delete the tweet.

Other changes Twitter made through the end of the election include not allowing candidates to claim victory until the media or state officials say they have won, putting more warnings on tweets, and preventing users from seeing "liked by" and "followed by" recommendations unless they already follow the person.

Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Twitter. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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