(Pocket-lint) - Facebook will now prompt users to open and read a news article before sharing it, in a bid to clamp down on the spread of misinformation.
The social media giant confirmed via Twitter that it is testing the new feature, with the pop-up appearing to users who look to share articles before actually opening them.
"You're about to share an article without opening it," the prompt will read, before warning that sharing unread information may mean missing out on key facts and then providing the choice to open the piece or share without reading.
Starting today, we’re testing a way to promote more informed sharing of news articles. If you go to 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. pic.twitter.com/brlMnlg6Qg— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) May 10, 2021
It follows a previous move that highlighted when an article was over three months old, and a similar step from Twitter, which rolled out last year and suggested reading a story before retweeting.
And while it may seem like a very basic, perhaps inconsequential, step from Facebook, Twitter has already shown that these warnings do make a difference.
After trialling the feature, Twitter found that articles were opened 40% more after receiving a prompt, as well as a reduction in shares in those who had actually read an article.
Like Twitter, though, it's not entirely clear when the new feature will roll out globally. When we performed a quick check on Facebook, we didn't receive the prompt before going to share an unopened article, so, as ever, expect this one to reach different regions at different times over the coming weeks.
Hopefully, as Twitter discovered, the pop-up leads to more users being properly informed before spreading the word.