Ahead of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, social media site Twitter announced that it would be forcing users to quote tweet any tweets they attempted to retweet in an attempt to add an extra layer of “friction,” forcing users to question the content they shared. In practice, the change dampened virality and engagement for all posts to the platform. Now, Twitter has reversed these changes after the election.
In October, Breitbart News reported that Twitter would be altering how retweets on its platform worked ahead of the November presidential election in an attempt to prevent the spread of “misinformation.” Twitter modified the feature so that when users click the retweet icon, the platform will automatically pull up the quote tweet composer to encourage users to write something about the tweet before sharing it. Tech companies call this “friction,” additional steps that slow down or disrupt the user experience.
Now, Twitter has reversed this decision, simply announcing in a tweet from the official @Twitter account: “We’re switching back.”
We’re switching back. You can now choose to Retweet or Quote Tweet the way you did before. https://t.co/4ZAE6Ax8Vn
— Twitter (@Twitter) December 16, 2020
In November following the introduction of the forced quote tweet feature, Twitter boasted that it had slowed the spread of all information on its platform while attempting to curb misinformation.
Twitter stated that it put labels on 300,000 user posts from October 27 to November 11th for violating rules related to election misinformation. The social media site added that quote tweets, which aimed to encourage users to add more context to posts, were up by 26 percent as a result of the prompt, and regular retweets were down by 23 percent. Quote tweets and retweets combined were down by 20 percent in total.
Twitter proudly stated: “This change slowed the spread of misleading information by virtue of an overall reduction in the amount of sharing on the service.”
Read more at Breitbart News here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org