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Elon Musk's X is making 'likes' private so people can like NSFW posts without worrying

Tom Carter   

Elon Musk's X is making 'likes' private so people can like NSFW posts without worrying
  • Elon Musk's X is planning to make "likes" private by default, according to X's head of engineering.
  • The move will apparently encourage more people to like "edgy" content on the site.

It looks like X wants you to post more like Elon Musk.

The social media platform plans to make "likes" on the site private, according to X's director of engineering, who said the move would encourage people to like more "edgy" posts.

"Yeah, we are making likes private," wrote Haofei Wang in a post on X.

"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," he said.

"Soon you'll be able to like without worrying who might see it," he added.

X Premium users got access to make their likes private In September, but Wang's comments suggest the feature will soon be expanded to non-paying users on X by default as well.

Some high-profile figures have been ridiculed in the past after their accounts appeared to like controversial posts.

In 2017, Senator Ted Cruz blamed a staffer after his account "liked" a pornographic video on Twitter, and celebrities like Harry Styles and Samuel L Jackson have also gone viral after their accounts "liked" NSFW posts.

Elon Musk's likes on X are still public, but he has faced growing backlash over his social media activity in recent months.

A reply from the billionaire calling an antisemitic post "the actual truth" saw major companies pull advertising from X and investors criticize the Tesla CEO. Musk would later apologize, calling his post "foolish" — but told the advertisers who protested, "Go fuck yourself."

Musk has completely transformed the platform formerly known as Twitter since buying it in 2022.

He has spoken about potentially tweaking the way likes work on X in the past, telling a conference in March that the platform could remove likes and reposts from public posts so users will only be able to see the number of times a post has been viewed.

The latest move has received some backlash from X users, including Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, who commented that it would make liking a post indistinguishable from bookmarking it.

X did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.




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