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Elon Musk's X platform is hiding which posts you 'like' citing privacy reasons

FILE - Computer monitors and a laptop display the X, formerly known as Twitter, sign-in page, July 24, 2023
FILE - Computer monitors and a laptop display the X, formerly known as Twitter, sign-in page, July 24, 2023 Copyright Darko Vojinovic/Copyright 2023 The AP.
Copyright Darko Vojinovic/Copyright 2023 The AP.
By AP and Euronews
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The in-app changes have seen mixed receptions on the billionaire's social media platform.

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Elon Musk's social media platform X is now hiding your likes, a feature that was until now only available to paying users, for privacy reasons.

In an update posted on the platform formerly known as Twitter earlier this week, X's engineering team said it would be "making Likes private for everyone to better protect your privacy".

It means that users will still be able to see their own likes, but others will not - putting an end to a feature that many had long used.

The change went into effect on Wednesday and the "Likes" tab later appeared to only be available on users' own profile page. But when visiting other accounts, that tab is no longer available.

Users also received a pop-up notification that seemed to suggest the change would result in more user engagement.

"Liking more posts will make your 'For you' feed better," the message read.

'Keep spicy likes private'

According to the engineering team's update, like counts and other metrics for a user's own posts will still show up under notifications.

Posts still appear to show how many likes they have - but the author will be the only person who can see a list of those who liked it.

The option to hide likes was previously just available to paying Premium subscribers. When X announced that option in September, it said users could "keep spicy likes private by hiding your likes tab".

The hidden like count is one of many changes that have come to the platform since billionaire Elon Musk purchased it for $44 billion (€40 billion) in 2022. Beyond a new name and logo, other changes include doing away with the once-coveted blue checks for non-Premium users — and then restoring them to some.

The in-app changes have seen mixed receptions on the platform. In the early days of X stripping the verification badges from prominent officials and news organisations, for example, many voiced misinformation concerns.

The platform has also faced both rising user and advertiser pushback amid ongoing concerns about content moderation and hate speech on the San Francisco-based platform, which some researchers say has been on the rise under Musk.

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