I am guilty. I share stuff based only on the title. I have an idea to make it harder with the help of design.
I know you did it, I did it too. You stumble on some news on a social media, you don’t read the content of the article but just the title, you feel an emotion — fear, anger, sadness — and you decide to share it.
You didn’t read it. You don’t know what’s inside the article and you didn’t spend the time to understand that. Maybe you shared something that is not even true and could be easily be debunked reading the content of the article, but you can’t know it since you (and me) made a superficial decision.
Design to the rescue
My idea is similar to the captcha, but instead of verifying if you are a robot or not I want to verify if you are a thinking human or just a bored superficial automaton.
Let’s describe the scenario:
“I am on the train towards work. I didn’t sleep well, I’m very tired. I’m scrolling my favorite social network and I stumble upon an article.”
“Hah! That title. Sounds interesting. I should share it. I should share it so other people know. Should I read the article? Meeeeh, I’m so tired and I have to work later anyway. I will skip the article reading for this time.”
And here’s where the magic happens!
Thanks to the effort of the community, or directly answering the article’s editor questions, you will have a couple of super-duper easy questions to answer before sharing the article. I wouldn’t block the possibility of sharing it at all, but I would definitely add some kind of message, like:
“You are sharing an article without reading it. Are you sure about that?”