X Is Hiding Post Likes for All Users

 X Is Hiding Post Likes for All Users

our Likes on X are set to disappear, as the platform moves to make what you’re interested in private, in order to counter potential negative connotations of your interests.

So if you want to like horrific, terrible, offensive stuff, you’ll now be able to, free of ramifications. Well, to some degree.

The hidden likes change was first noted by X News Daily, with some users noticing that the “Likes” tab on profiles had disappeared.

X confirmed the test shortly after, with X engineer Haofei Wang explaining:

“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. Also a reminder that the more posts you like, the better your “For you” algorithm will become.”

So X is aiming for a double impact here, by not only giving users more freedom to like whatever they want, without fear of someone looking up their Likes later on, but also, with that expanded freedom, X is hoping that users will then Like more stuff, thereby giving it more signals to refine its algorithms.

Though why people would want to like stuff that they don’t want attached to their profile seems like a whole other concern.

Like, are there that many people who are looking at posts on X and thinking “ooh, I do like this, but I can’t show that, because that would be bad, but also I want to see more of this stuff”?

I can’t imagine that this is a common issue. Unless, of course, you’re a closet racist. Or a secret misogynist. Or you really liked Kevin Sorbo in “Hercules” and still want to support him, even though he’s wack.

I don’t know, this seems like a specific path to facilitate negative trends and behaviors, by giving people an invisibility blanket on their darker opinions. And if they do end up liking more controversial stuff, X will then show them more of it, so it also seems like a bit of a radicalization push, explicitly being built into X’s algorithm.

Though from X owner Elon Musk’s perspective, I can see why he might want this.

Musk himself has repeatedly been pulled up for liking controversial content, from Anti-Semitic conspiracies to Anime girls. In fact, X already made hiding your likes an option for paying users last year, so it’s no real surprise that X is now looking to expand this to everyone.

It just seems unnecessarily problematic.

Also, if X is trying to encourage users to like more “edgy” content, as Wang notes, won’t that also lead to more controversial posts being algorithmically amplified?

X uses your Likes to then give a post more reach, especially among your own connections. So if you end up liking more controversial stuff, because no one can see that you’ve done so, that’ll then amplify those specific posts even more.

I don’t know, maybe Musk and Co. have seen paying users who’ve hidden their Likes become more active as a result, and maybe that’s enough to push ahead.

But if you need a feature like this, if you don’t feel comfortable with people seeing the things you like, because it’s either questionable or controversial in some way, should X really be trying to show you more of it?

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