Elon Musk Announces Privacy Measure for Likes to Prevent ‘Attacks’

Elon Musk has announced that X, formerly known as Twitter, will now conceal users’ liked posts on the social media platform. The decision aims to protect individuals’ public image, particularly after some politicians and celebrities faced criticism for liking controversial tweets, including those of a pornographic nature.

“Important to allow people to like posts without getting attacked for doing so,” Mr. Musk commented in response to reports that X is implementing an update to hide likes.

Last month, X’s director of engineering, Haofei Wang, explained on the platform that the change is intended to assist users in “protecting their public image.” He noted concerns that public likes can lead to undesirable behaviors, such as reluctance to like potentially contentious content due to fears of trolling or damage to one’s reputation.

“Yes, we are making likes private,” Wang wrote in May. “Public likes are incentivizing the wrong behavior… Soon you’ll be able to like without worrying who might see it.”

Since assuming control of Twitter in late 2022, Musk has pursued a policy of loosening content moderation and permitting more controversial material on the platform, advocating for “absolute free speech.”

Reports indicate that while the likes tab on user profiles will vanish, users will still be able to view who liked their posts, and overall like counts for all posts will remain visible.

In a related incident from March last year, Kentucky Senator Jason Howell claimed his Twitter account was hacked after sexually explicit images were found among his liked tweets. The content remained on his Twitter history for two years before its removal.

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