Sunday, June 23, 2024

Likes on X Will Reportedly Be None of My Business as Soon as Today

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Elon Musk’s social media platform X is reportedly rolling out private likes as soon as today, The Verge reported on Tuesday. The feature, which already allows Premium users to hide their likes, will reportedly become the default for everyone on X.

“Important to allow people to like posts without getting attacked for doing so,” Musk said in a tweet on Tuesday, responding to a tweet about The Verge’s report.

Musk seems to be reiterating what X’s director of engineering Haofei Wang said last month: X is making likes private to encourage folks to like “edgy” content without fear of being ridiculed. X senior software engineer Enrique Barragan, who tweeted that something is launching today, previously said this update will still allow you to see like counts and who likes your own posts. However, he says you won’t see the people who liked someone else’s post or their “Liked” tabs.

For years, Twitter’s public likes page has been a sort of accountability system for the social media platform. However, Musk and his new regime feel that X would be better off without it. Likes inform X’s algorithm, which can suggest better content to users who could potentially spend more time on the platform. A change like this might make X users engage with more content, but the question is, what content is this change vindicating them to interact with?

As of Tuesday afternoon, likes appeared to still be visible by default on X. Musk’s Likes tab reveals that he’s spent the day engaging with several memes regarding Apple and OpenAI’s partnership, specifically regarding their alleged privacy issues (a narrative he’s peddling pretty hard himself).

Musk has stated before a broader vision to simplify the X platform, concealing likes and posts more widely on the timeline. It’s unclear when this change will happen, but this is the general direction for X these days.

Many of us remember when Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s Twitter account once liked a pornographic video, but then he blamed a staffer and unliked it. Samuel L. Jackson was also caught liking Twitter porn once, but then he unliked them when fans called him out. The Liked tab has been a glorious accountability system for a long time, but we’ll soon bid it farewell forever.

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