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(Pocket-lint) - Twitter recently announced changes coming to its platform to help prevent the spread of misinformation ahead of the US Presidential election, including a temporary change to retweets.

Yes, you can still retweet, but it's no longer frictionless.

What's new with Twitter?

For the first time, Twitter is actively encouraging its users to write something before they share a tweet. Now, when you click or tap the retweet icon, Twitter will immediately serve up the quote tweet composer, rather than let you choose to retweet or quote tweet. In addition, if you attempt to retweet an article that you haven't opened on Twitter, you may see a prompt asking if you’d like to read it.

Note: A tweet you share publicly with your followers is a retweet. A quote tweet is a retweet with a comment or media that you've added.

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Why did Twitter change how retweeting works?

Twitter is hoping that, by making the retweeting process much less seamless, its users might take a moment to consider what they’re sharing and possibly even add their own insight. Twitter said it hopes the changes to retweeting will give users "better context" while simultaneously help reduce the "unintentional spread of misleading information" ahead of the US Presidential election. 

How to retweet without quote tweeting

To retweet without quote tweeting, just don't add a comment. Simply hit retweet the icon on the tweet and then the retweet button from the pop-up composer. You can totally skip the add your own comment/media bit. If while trying to retweet you see a prompt asking you to open the article and read it first, you can still retweet the article without opening it and without leaving a comment. 

Here's how the new retweet process works (as of 21 October 2020):

  1. Open Twitter on the web or the iOS or Android app.
  2. Hover over a tweet you'd like to share and click the retweet button.
  3. A composer will appear with the tweet you want to retweet.
    • You can leave the composer blank and hit retweet to retweet.
    • Or, type add your own comment and then hit retweet.
    • You also have the option to add media before retweeting. 
  4. Once you hit retweet, the tweet will then be shared as a retweet.

When will retweeting go back to normal?

Twitter said the changes to retweeting went into effect in the US on 21 October 2020. The changes are expected to last until at least the end of the election week. (The US Presidential election will be held on 3 November 2020.)

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 22 October 2020.