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X makes 'likes' private

The social media platform will continue to allow users to see the number of "likes" a post received, but not which users they came from, citing privacy concerns.

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(Cordon Press)

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(AFP / VOZ MEDIA) X announced Thursday that it has decided to make users' "likes" private in an effort to protect privacy and increase interactions.

With the change, users will still be able to see the number of likes a post received, but not which users they came from. The tab on each user's profile that showed the history their likes will also be gone, making it more difficult to track preferences or political inclinations.

"We're making Likes private for everyone to better protect your privacy," the platform informed users in a message.

"Liking more posts will make your For you tab better," it added.

The "For you" section shows a personalized list of videos or posts recommended to each user based on their interests and the interactions they have had in the past.

Elon Musk defends the privacy of likes on X

"It's important to allow people to like posts without getting attacked for doing so!" Musk said.

In another post, the mogul said there was a "massive increase" in likes on X since they went private.

Before the changes were introduced, X Head of Engineering Haofei Wang said that the public nature of likes was "incentivizing the wrong behavior."

"Many people feel discouraged from liking content that might be 'edgy' in fear of retaliation from trolls, or to protect their public image."

Since purchasing Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, Musk has reduced content moderation and reactivated accounts that had been banned. Such changes caused a drop in interactions, according to metrics commonly used in the industry, although X cites other measures and claims that the platform is growing.