Facebook is experimenting with new alerts that will warn its users about sharing articles that they haven’t taken the time to read first.
When I scroll through my Facebook feed, I see my connections sharing articles left and right. I often wonder how many of them bother to read before they actually share.
A good many, from what I see in the comments, don’t.
The problem grew enough over the years, especially in the age of “fake news,” that Facebook now wants to send alerts to its users about the problem.
Social Media Today reported the social media platform would begin testing the alerts. Facebook calls it a way to promote a 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.”
People on social media didn’t seem overjoyed. Then again, people on social media these days rarely seem overjoyed with anything.
One said it wouldn’t stop people from sharing conspiracy theories.
Others accused Facebook of stealing the idea from Twitter. I haven’t seen Twitter do this before, but maybe that’s because I usually read something before I share it.
That seems like the more responsible thing to do. But maybe that’s just me.
I thought one other response definitely merited consideration:
“Now do this for commenting, too,” one wrote.
I couldn’t agree more. People who comment on articles rarely read them first. You can’t really blame the pages for that. They can’t force people not to take the lazy way out.
But you can read comments on any article on any news page and find plenty of instances of people commenting on stories they clearly didn’t read first. Many times, they ask questions the article actually answers. Fellow commenters usually call them on it, but no one seems to care.