X Implements Major Privacy Update; Users Can No Longer See Each Other’s Likes

X, formerly known as Twitter, has introduced a significant change to its platform, preventing users from viewing the posts others have liked. Announced on Wednesday, this update means users can only see the posts they have personally liked, aiming to enhance user privacy.

“You will still be able to see posts you have liked [but others cannot],” X announced in a post on its platform. “Like count and other metrics for your own posts will still show up under notifications.

You will no longer see who liked someone else’s post.” The owner of X, Elon Musk, described the update as an “important change.”

This sentiment was echoed by X’s director of engineering, Haofei Wang, who had previously criticized the Likes function for incentivizing negative behaviors. “Many people feel discouraged from liking content that might be ‘edgy’ in fear of retaliation from trolls or to protect their public image,” Wang stated last month on X.

This update is part of a broader series of changes since Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the platform in late 2022. Under his ownership, X has significantly reduced content moderation and reinstated several previously banned accounts, including those of former U.S. President Donald Trump and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Musk has defended these changes as enhancements to free speech, though critics argue they have fueled the spread of hateful rhetoric and misinformation. In another recent update, X modified its guidelines to allow users to share consensual and clearly labeled sexualized content, marking another shift in the platform’s approach to content moderation.

The privacy-focused change to likes is expected to impact how users interact with content on X, aligning with Musk’s vision of transforming the platform while balancing user privacy concerns.