Elon Musk Wants to Make X’s Likes Private to Hide Your Favorite ‘Edgy’ Content

Elon Musk Wants to Make X’s Likes Private to Hide Your Favorite ‘Edgy’ Content

X Premium users have been able to hide the posts they’ve liked for months now, but the feature may soon become the default for everyone. A director of engineering at X said the platform is making likes private in a post, noting that public likes may be discouraging people from engaging with content that might be considered “edgy.”


“Yeah, we are making likes private,” Wang said in a tweet. “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.”

Wang noted that soon, “you’ll be able to like without worrying who might see it.” Notably, Elon Musk liked this tweet, as revealed by his public likes. Currently, most users on X have their likes publicly displayed on their profiles, which shows all users the posts they’re engaging with. X started offering paying users an option to hide their likes last September, but Wang’s tweet suggests the feature may be expanding broadly.

Twitter’s public likes feature has historically revealed the “edgy” content celebrities and public figures are enjoying at any given moment. It’s the feature everyone forgets about but always comes back to bite them. Senator Ted Cruz’s Twitter account once liked a pornographic video, but then he blamed a staffer and said “It’s not going to happen again.” Samuel L. Jackson was once caught liking hardcore pornography but then unliked all of them once his fans warned him they were public. And of course, Musk’s own public likes have placed him in hot water before. In 2022, Musk liked an anti-trans tweet from the notorious right-wing account, Libs of TikTok.

Currently, Elon Musk’s liked tweets reveal that in the last week, the owner of X has liked a meme saying Dr. Anthony Fauci is really Dr. Evil, a meme making fun of trans activists, and a whole lot of tweets about himself.

This change falls in line with Musk’s broader vision for X to conceal likes and reposts more broadly. Previously, Musk revealed a long-term plan to hide likes and repost counts on the timeline, creating a cleaner experience that only shows the view count. He went on to explain that you’ll only be able to see likes and reposts when you click on the actual post. This change hasn’t happened yet, but Musk says it is “definitely happening.

Making X’s likes private would surely let folks engage more freely with content on the platform. Your likes on X contribute to the algorithm’s accuracy in recommending you more content, so it could improve the user experience. However, it also takes away a key accountability feature that made Twitter so entertaining.

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