The social media giant’s CEO Jack Dorsey was last week quoted by The Telegraph as saying he “wasn’t a fan of the heart-shaped button” and he “would be getting rid of it soon.”
The news spread quickly and led to consternation among the Twitterati.
Some users announced how the Like button allowed expressions of support and symbols solidarity.
And others expressed concern that retweeting and replies would become the last methods of communication without the Like.
Twitter users took to Reddit to vent their anger: ”People are just gonna use retweets as likes even more, and my feed will be even more garbage,” wrote one.
And another added: “Twitter’s heart shaped like button is used by hundreds of millions of people every day, just look at the thousands of likes that popular brands get.
“Those are real people, using the tool,” they said.
Twitter has, however, refused to deny the rumours it intends to kill Likes.
A Twitter spokesperson said, “At this point, there is no specific timeline for changes or particular planned changes to discuss.”
We’re experimenting and considering numerous possible changes, all with an eye toward ensuring we’re incentivising the right behaviours to drive healthy conversation,” they added.
Mr Dorsey has repeatedly been pressured to clean up his platform, following accusations it helped to spread fake news ahead of the US election and the volatile Brexit referendum.
The billionaire has recently announced his intension to make the social media space a “healthier place” by reducing “echo chambers” and cracking-down on misinformation.
The potential demise of the Like is not the only change ahead.
Other options include removing the blue tick so it is no longer the perceived preserve of celebrities and social media influencers, introduce the ability to edit tweets, and removing users’ follower counts.
And the site has updated its reporting process, specifically when users report a tweet that may originate from a bot or a fake account.
The update is now live on both the web version and mobile version of the service.
Other Twitter controversies:
Twitter was accused of helping publicise the 2011 London riots by allowing criminals to coordinate violence and disorder.
In 2014, the #GamerGate hashtag targeted women in the gaming industry, particularly on Twitter. The hashtag was used by some gamers to send misogynistic and threatening tweets to women in the industry.
Twitter changed its favourite star button to a ‘like” heart button in 2015, triggering accusations it was copying its rival Instagram platform.
The site announced in 2016 it would presenting users with the tweets you care about the most, instead of presenting them in chronological order. Users reacted with the hashtag #RIPTwitter.
Source : EXPRESS