Elon Musk says X hiding likes is to stop people being ‘attacked’ for what they engage with

Elon Musk has spoken about the motives behind the new hide likes feature on X. (Getty)

X hides likes to stop people from being “attacked” for what they engage with online, Elon Musk has said.

The social media platform began hiding all users’ likes on 12 June, in a move which the engineering team said would “better protect your privacy”. 

It comes after a series of changes on the app following Musk’s acquisition of the website, including a rebrand from Twitter to “X”.  

In response to the hide likes feature, former X CEO Musk – who has since taken on the role of executive chair and chief technology officer, as per CNN – said: “Important to allow people to like posts without getting attacked for doing so!”

Those on X also received a pop-up notification which read: “Your Likes are now private. We are making Likes private for everyone to better protect your privacy. 

“Liking more posts will make your ‘For you’ feed better.”

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Users can still see their own likes, but others will not – ending the feature which many had used to see what other users are engaging with. 

Like counts and other metrics on a user’s own post will still show up under the notifications tab, and posts will still still show how many likes they have – but the author will be the only one to see a list of who liked it.

Recently, the app revealed it is now allowing adult content on the site, causing users to wonder what restrictions were in place beforehand.

The update read that as of May 2024, the site believes that “users should be able to create, distribute and consume material related to sexual themes as long as it is consensually produced and distributed”.

The statement continued: “Sexual expression, whether visual or written, can be a legitimate form of artistic expression. 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,” the page says, available to read in full here.

While the official shift has been a long time coming, users have begun to ask exactly what has changed.

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