General News, Web & Tech

Why X Is Now Hiding Your Likes

June 14, 2024

As one of Elon Musk’s recent radical changes to X (formerly known as Twitter), he has now announced a new plan: making likes on posts anonymous.

X’s engineering team released a statement on Tuesday 11th that stated “Likes” will be private for all users.

Notably, likes aren’t entirely private. The post author can see who liked their post, you can view posts you’ve liked, and like counts and other metrics for your posts will still appear in your notifications.

Since removing the feature, Musk has stated in an X post that likes on the platform have had a ‘massive increase’.

But many users remain skeptical that the likes have come from bots or that the majority of new likes are related to people now liking pornographic content freely, without fear of judgement.

We can expect to see big changes to social media marketing in the adult industry if this is the case, but many users have joked that they aren’t happy with the new changes.

Public Twitter likes have been issues for high profile figures in the past, with one case involving US Senator Ted Cruz. In 2017, Cruz’s official Twitter account liked a sexually explicit tweet, sparking widespread attention and media coverage. The incident quickly trended, with users and news outlets speculating whether it was an error, a hack, or a mistake by a staff member. Cruz later addressed the situation, calling it a “staffing issue.”

Removing ‘Likes’ follows X policy update on porn

This change follows the latest policy update on pornographic content. The platform will now allow consensually produced and distributed adult content as long as it is “properly labelled and not prominently displayed”.

However, the platform will still ban content that it perceives to be harmful, namely anything to do with minors, non-consent, obscenity, exploitation or harm.

We believe in the autonomy of adults to engage with and create content that reflects their own beliefs, desires, and experiences, including those related to sexuality. We balance this freedom by restricting exposure to Adult Content for children or adult users who choose not to see it.

~ X May 2024 Adult Content Policy

The new policy permits nudity or sexual content that is AI-generated, photographic, or animated, but user’s must add content warnings to adult content. A users media settings should automatically add these warnings, requiring users to acknowledge NSFW content. Additionally, one-time content warnings are available for individual posts.

X has always been the most relaxed among social media platforms regarding adult content, making it popular with e-commerce sex toy brands, OnlyFans creators, and more. Its history of allowing pornographic content, has been prevalent for a while now with Reuters in 2022 revealing that about 13% of all content on the platforms was adult-oriented.

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