A mockup of a prompt that reminds users that "Headlines Don't Tell The Full Story".

Tested

Tentative

Dispel Rumors

Disallow Sharing of Unclicked Links

Cuts down on the spread of misinformation

Disallow Sharing of Unclicked Links

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Overview

What It Is

This is an interstitial popup or similar linked to a "share" or "retweet" or equivalent that detects whether or not you've clicked the link (and possibly spent any time on the link, if that's technically feasible to track). If you haven't, then the platform does not allow you to share the link.

What It Does

This makes people think about the content of what they are sharing, and therefore more likely to decide not to share things that look questionable upon further examination (headlines that aren't actually backed up by the content of the article, for example). Since misinformation is more easily identified by reading a full article than just be seeing a snippet or headline, this makes it likely to cut down on the sharing of misinformation.

When To Use It

This interstitial appears whenever a user is about to share a link on the app without having opened the link.

How We Know It Works

Twitter has started doing this and has tweeted short claims to its effectiveness. Since this is a promotion of their own product, we would like to see more detailed data and methodology, ideally from an independent source.

Why It Matters

A 2016 study from computer scientists at Columbia University and Microsoft found that 59% of links posted on Twitter are never clicked. The creation of user friction in these cases should, as Twitter has deduced, allow for more informed discussions and preempt the spread of hoaxes and disinformation.

Examples

This entry is currently being researched & evaluated!

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Our Confidence Rating

Tentative

A grade of Tentative is given for a number of reasons.

Often it is either because:

  1. The majority of research for an intervention, independently conducted or not, is either observational or ecological studies and lacks a randomized control; or
  2. The findings in its favor have vested or corporate interests behind them—for example, Company X releases its own experiment results about an intervention.

Should a study that would otherwise be labeled as Convincing undergo replication, but fail to replicate the results in good faith, that intervention may also be reassigned a grade of Tentative.

In The Wild

This intervention has precedence, and exists, or has at one time or another, existed in the wild.

Citations

Contextual Research

Social Clicks: What and Who Gets Read on Twitter?

Author(s)

Maksym Gabielkov, Arthi Ramachandran, Augustin Chaintreau, Arnaud Legout

Date of Publication

April 13, 2016

Publication Status
Peer Reviewed
Study Design
Observational
Sample Size(s)

Min.

Total

9600000

Max.

Affiliation(s)

Columbia University

Journal Name

Proc. of ACM SIGMETRICS'16

Entry Type

Research Article or Manuscript

Publication Statistics
Online Impact
Citations
APA Citation

Maksym Gabielkov, Arthi Ramachandran, Augustin Chaintreau, Arnaud Legout. Social Clicks: What and Who Gets Read on Twitter?. ACM SIGMETRICS / IFIP Performance 2016, Jun 2016, Antibes Juan-les-Pins, France. ⟨hal-01281190⟩

There's more to learn about this intervention. Want to help?

Do you think this intervention could have more benefits, unacknowledged drawbacks, or other inaccuracies that we've neglected to mention here?

We always welcome more evidence and rigorous research to back up, debunk, or augment what we know.

If you want to be a part of that effort, we'd love to have your help!

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Further Reading

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