Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is looking to get rid of the ‘like’ button on the platform. Claiming that he’s never really been a fan of the heart-shaped ‘like’ button, he’s now removing it from Twitter, to boost healthy conversations and political debates that are usually always on fire on the platform. At a WIRED25 summit, Dorsey said that “We have a big like button with a heart on it and we’re incentivizing people to want it to go up. Is that the right thing? Versus contributing to the public conversation or a healthy conversation? How do we incentivize healthy conversation?”
What Dorsey said
“The ‘like’ button has always been handy for us. We have used it to express solidarity with a person, we’ve used it to approve things, we used it to not blow up the timelines of people with continual sub-tweets (everyone’s thankful for this one especially), we even used it to save tweets to look at later”, added Dorsey
In early 2018, Twitter hit us up with the bookmark button, arguably a less intrusive version of the like button. You could save and bookmark a tweet, to look at it later. It is much like Instagram’s save button. There hasn’t been any noise on this from the Twitterati, though.
No Like button?
Back in 2015, Twitter didn’t even have a like button. It was originally a star. It was later changed into a heart and a statement by a Twitter product manager was released – “We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favourite. The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it.”
Why users are complaining
Twitter users aren’t too happy about this new change though. They’re complaining about how Twitter does a poor job policing the hate content, and racism and sexism on the site, and that they need to check it first, as that is the more pressing issue. The recent development of the hate-content directed towards the Jews in the aftermath of the Pittsburgh synagogue shootings has left people vivid. And adding fuel to the fire, Twitter’s below par reactions to the feedback have triggered an entire debate about the credibility of the platform. Although Twitter claims to have no place for hate speech or racism or xenophobia, it still has a lot of far-rights active on the platform. More often than not, Twitter has suspended the accounts of the victims and deleted their posts on many occasions, where they should actually be doing the opposite.
In October 2018, during Q3 earnings call, Dorsey said that he understands the faulty mechanisms of Twitter and that he and his team wants to fix them, stating – “We have every team around the company thinking about increasing the health of the public conversation…we’re actually questioning some of the fundamentals and the incentives that the service is providing, and making sure that they are also encouraging and increasing healthy conversation on the service as well.”