Sci-tech

Is Elon Musk's X hiding 'likes'?

Tech billionaire announces "important change" to his social media platform after flurry of policy updates

By  Web Desk   |  
June 13, 2024
The logo of social media platform X is seen in this illustration taken on July 24, 2023. — Reuters

Elon Musk, the owner of X, formerly Twitter, Wednesday announced that that the social media platform is now hiding its users' likes on posts by others.

According to Slate, Musk, 52, officially made the announcement on his X account as the site update was being rolled out.

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While quoting an explanation posted by the company’s engineering account on Tuesday, Musk said: "Important change: your likes are now private."

But how does the new update change X?

The new update allows users to still be able to see who liked their own posts and the posts they have liked themselves. However, they will not be able to see who has liked posts from other people.

On Wednesday, the tab on most users' profiles — showing what posts they had liked — had disappeared, NBC News reported citing an article by The Verge which featured preview of the change.

Haofei Wang, X’s director of engineering, had teased the update in a post in May, where he wrote: "Public likes are incentivizing the wrong behavior.

"For example, many people feel discouraged from liking content that might be 'edgy' in fear of retaliation from trolls, or to protect their public image. Soon you’ll be able to like without worrying who might see it."

He added that if users now more freely like posts they’re interested in, X’s algorithm will become more tailored to them.

Musk and X echoed that reasoning for the change in subsequent posts.

The update follows a flurry of policy updates Musk has introduced to the platform since taking over in 2022. The tech billionaire previously said he also plans for posts on X to only show the view count.


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