Adios, accountability: X to hide 'likes' for everyone this week

After making the option available for Premium users last year, the site formerly known as Twitter has decided to begin hiding everyone's "likes" to "better protect your privacy."

X's engineering team shared the news on its account yesterday, saying that it planned to flip the private-like switch sometime this week. Once it does, the Likes tab on user profiles will be gone, though one can still see a list of posts they themselves have "liked." As of writing, the tab is still visible on user profiles.

The change essentially means X users will no longer be able to see who has "liked" a particular post or what posts a particular person has "liked," but users will still be able to see metrics from their own posts, as well as a full list of people who've "liked" their posts.

If this hiding system sounds half thought out and rife with possibilities for blackmail and abuse - no, it's not just you.

X owner Elon Musk, whose preferred method of engaging with hate speech isn't to passively hit "like" but rather to write an endorsement, might not have to worry about being blackmailed with his now-secret likes, but others will. Twitter accounts belonging to US Senator Ted Cruz and Kentucky state senator Jason Howell, for example, have both been caught tapping "like" on pornographic posts in the past. With such an engagement secret to all but the original poster, you can begin to see the possibilities of such information in the hands of a bad actor - a fact plenty of X users pointed out in response to the X engineering team's post.

And it's not like X isn't trying to encourage users to let loose and provide it with all those juicy, personally compromising online endorsements: The company's director of engineering basically did just that last month.

"Public likes are incentivizing the wrong behavior," Haofei Wang said in response to speculation that X was considering hiding "likes" by default for all users. "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 added that soon that won't be an issue, and encouraged users to smash that "like" button because "the more posts you like, the better your For you algorithm will become."

Beyond the possibilities for blackmail, other X users responding to the engineering team pointed out that the decision to get rid of public "likes" is essentially an admission that X can't solve its bot problem, once a dealbreaker for Musk's purchase of Twitter. Since the billionaire strolled into HQ carrying a sink, however, researchers have found that bots are a worse problem than before.

The move also kills the community's ability to validate a post's engagement, one user pointed out, by being able to verify that "likes" came from organic users and not bots. Others said it would do nothing but enable fraud and make it easier to manipulate posts related to upcoming elections in the US and elsewhere.

We contacted X with questions, but only got the standard response that it was "busy now" and we should "check back later." ®

About Us
Website HardCracked provides softwares, patches, cracks and keygens. If you have software or keygens to share, feel free to submit it to us here. Also you may contact us if you have software that needs to be removed from our website. Thanks for use our service!
IT News
Jul 13
Game dev accuses Intel of selling 'defective' Raptor Lake CPUs

High-end processor instability headaches, failures pushed one studio to switch to AMD

Jul 12
White House urged to double check Microsoft isn't funneling AI to China via G42 deal

Windows maker insisted everything will be locked down and secure - which given its reputation, uh-oh!

Jul 12
PowerToys bring fun tweaks to Windows 10 and 11

Friday FOSS Fest Mac migrants (if any exist) will find Powertoys Run strangely familiar

Jul 12
New Outlook set for GA despite missing some key features

Classic Outlook for Windows shuffles a little closer to the end of the road

Jul 12
Google can totally explain why Chromium browsers quietly tell only its websites about your CPU, GPU usage

OK, now tell us why this isn't an EU DMA violation - asking for a friend in Brussels

Jul 12
SAP's bid to woo open source community meets muted response

German software giant says open source is a 'catalyst for innovation' but is unlikely to release proprietary code

Jul 12
Stop installing that software - you may have just died

On Call They're called role-playing games for a reason ...