By: Nicole Raymond
There has recently been a lot of talk about “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and the rants many people have taken to social media to discuss a variety of topics. One online news source is trying to curb the rants of those on social media by making sure they know their stuff before they share or comment on an article.
Much of journalism has moved to an online platform where ease of reading and sharing is prevalent for the millions of readers on the web. With the power for anyone to comment on or share an article, and more and more people joining the world of social media, it has become inevitable that people will share and comment on articles they haven’t fully read or don’t understand.
According to Joseph Lichterman, one Norwegian news site, NRKbeta, is trying to prevent people from blindly sharing articles by having them pass a test about the article before they are able to share it. The test has readers answer three questions about the article correctly before they are able to share or comment on the piece. Executives from the website say this feature allows them to make sure readers understand what they are reading before they rant about it.
Having people spend 15 seconds thinking about the article and taking the time to answer the questions and understand the article better may even allow the reader to cool off and see that the rant isn’t needed in the first place.
While NRKbeta is still in the introductory phase of their quiz screenings and only a handful of articles have the quiz feature available, if all goes well, they may use the quiz for all of their published articles.
Some may see this as obstructing free speech or distasteful for the news organization, but a journalist from NRKbeta Ståle Grut said, “We thought we should do our part to try and make sure that people are on the same page before they comment. If everyone can agree that this is what the article says, then they have a much better basis for commenting on it.”
I think quizzes are a great idea because it ensures that readers have taken the time to read and understand the information before sharing and creating conversations about the material. However, I think it hinders some of the potential an article has for a large reach. If readers are required to take a quiz on the article before they publish it, some people may not want to take the time. This means less people see the article and less traffic is driven to a website. This hurts advertising costs and the number of views for the website.
What do you think of having to pass a quiz before a person is able to comment or share an article?
Nicole Raymond is senior majoring in public relations and double minoring in marketing and communications. This is her first year serving on EMU PRSSA’s E-Board as VP of External Relations. Nicole is a wife, aunt, daughter, sister and friend. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @nicoleraymond74.