Twitter is planning to remove one of its core features
When you see a tweet on Twitter you have three options (or four, depending on the app or browser you use) — reply, retweet and like. However, it looks like Twitter is preparing to cut up our options by carving out its heart, aka the Like button.
Speaking at a Twitter event last week, co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey mentioned he wasn’t a fan of the “like” heart, and wanted to remove it. Now @TwitterComms has mentioned this change could become a reality, as the social media platform is considering axing the heart-based like feature.
Removing likes would be a massive change to how Twitter users interact — liking comments on social media is a vital way to express support or agreement without using words. The move is purportedly to “improve the quality of debate” on the platform, although many would argue banning extremists and further changing its rules on hate speech would achieve that goal in a better way.
Predictably, Twitter users are not happy at the change. Responses range from sincere expressions of sadness at the way this could affect normal non-troll users, to suggestions for things Twitter should change instead.
It’s no secret that social media plays a big part in social discourse, with issues from the big to the bizarre fought in the digital battlegrounds. However, while some platforms are starting to realise their part in it — Facebook recently removed many fake accounts and made political advertisement funding transparent — Twitter is still plagued by Dorsey’s infamous hands-off approach to combating accounts that promote violence, hatred and fake news. Many people have asked Twitter to change its stance on giving toxic accounts a voice, but they likely didn’t mean by removing these accounts’ ability to like posts.
It remains to be seen if Twitter will actually remove the ability to like posts, or if this swift backlash will convince it not to. At least this change would unite people on all sides of the political spectrum on one matter — annoyance at this strange change.