Elon Musk Aims to Conceal X’s Likes, Including Controversial Content, for Increased Privacy

Content, Edgy, Elon Musk, favorite, Hide, , Private

Premium users of X have had the ability to hide their liked posts for months now, but it seems that this feature may soon become the default setting for all users. The director of engineering at X recently announced that the platform is planning to make likes private in order to address the issue of public likes discouraging people from engaging with certain types of content.

In a tweet, the director of engineering, Wang, stated, “Yeah, we are making likes private. 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.” This change aims to allow users to like posts without having to worry about who might see it.

Notably, Elon Musk, the owner of X, liked this tweet. Currently, most users on X have their likes publicly displayed on their profiles, which showcases the posts they are engaging with. However, X began offering paying users the option to hide their likes last September, and Wang’s tweet suggests that this feature may soon become available to all users.

The public likes feature on X has had its fair share of controversy and has often revealed the “edgy” content that celebrities and public figures are enjoying. Senator Ted Cruz’s Twitter account, for example, once liked a pornographic video, which he later blamed on a staffer. Samuel L. Jackson was also caught liking hardcore pornography but quickly unliked the posts after being warned by his fans about their public nature. Elon Musk himself has faced backlash for liking an anti-trans tweet in 2022 from a right-wing account called Libs of TikTok.

Currently, by looking at Elon Musk’s liked tweets, we can see that in the last week, he has liked a meme suggesting that Dr. Anthony Fauci is Dr. Evil, a meme mocking trans activists, and numerous tweets about himself. This move to make likes private aligns with Musk’s larger plan for X, which involves hiding likes and repost counts on the timeline, creating a cleaner user experience that only shows the view count. Musk has stated that likes and reposts will only be visible when users click on the actual post, although this change has yet to be implemented.

By making likes private on X, users will be able to engage more freely with content on the platform. Likes contribute to the algorithm’s accuracy in recommending more content to users, so this change could potentially improve the overall user experience. However, it also takes away a key accountability feature that has made Twitter so entertaining. Public likes have often provided a glimpse into the interests and preferences of influential figures, sparking discussions and allowing users to hold them accountable for their actions.

In conclusion, the proposal to make likes private on X is a significant development that could impact how users engage with content on the platform. While it may foster a more liberating experience for users, it also raises concerns about transparency and accountability. We can expect to see further updates and changes in the coming months as X continues to evolve its platform.

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