X starts hiding ‘likes’ on users’ posts

Social media platform says change will better protect users’ privacy.

X, formerly known as Twitter, has made 'likes' private [Darko Vojinovic/AP]

X, formerly Twitter, is no longer letting users see which posts other users have liked.

The change means that users can now only see which posts they have liked themselves.

The social media platform announced the change on Wednesday, saying it would protect users’ privacy better.

“You will still be able to see posts you have liked [but others cannot],” the social media company said in a post on X.

“Like count and other metrics for your own posts will still show up under notifications. You will no longer see who liked someone else’s post.”

X owner Elon Musk described the update as an “important change”.

Haofei Wang, X’s director of engineering, previously said the site’s likes function incentivised the wrong behaviour.

“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,” Wang said last month on X.

The update is the latest in a series of changes since Musk’s $44bn purchase of the influential platform in late 2022.

Since Musk’s takeover, X has dramatically scaled back moderation and reinstated previously banned accounts, including those of former United States President Donald Trump and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Musk has argued that his changes have been a boon for free speech, but critics have accused the Tesla CEO of encouraging hateful rhetoric and misinformation.

In its most recent change, X earlier this month updated its guidelines to formally allow users to share sexualised content that is consensual and clearly labelled.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies