Elon Musk confirms X will start hiding likes on posts

Elon Musk has confirmed reports that X is to start hiding likes on posts on the platform to help users protect their public image.

Reports on Tuesday suggested the social media giant would imminently start rolling out the change, with the billionaire posting a link to one such report and confirming the change was incoming.

Writing alongside the article, Mr Musk said making likes private was “important to allow people to like posts without getting attacked for doing so”.

Last month, X director of engineering Haofei Wang said the change was coming in order to help users of the site “protect their public image”, and that some users were unwilling to like certain content on the site over fear of retaliation.

“Yeah, we are making likes private,” he wrote on X in May.

“Public likes are incentivising the wrong behaviour. 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.

“Soon you’ll be able to like without worrying who might see it. Also a reminder that the more posts you like, the better your For you algorithm will become.”

Since Mr Musk took over Twitter – as it was then known – in late 2022, he has loosened content moderation on the site and allowed more controversial material on the platform, as part of his support of “absolute free speech”.

According to reports on the issue, the likes tab on user profiles will disappear from the site, but users will still be able to see who liked their posts, and the overall like count for all posts will remain visible.