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Elon Musk's Latest Idea for a 'Cleaner' X/Twitter: Hiding Likes and Retweet Counts

Elon Musk, the owner of X/Twitter, is on a quest to bring a “cleaner” aesthetic to his platfrm.

Elon Musk's Latest Idea for a 'Cleaner' X/Twitter: Hiding Likes and Retweet Counts

Musk’s latest idea is to hide traditional interaction metrics like the counters for replies, likes, and retweets that tell users at a glance how popular a tweet is. Forbes reports that Elon Musk’s vision for the X/Twitter platform involves a “cleaner” looking timeline, which, while seemingly simplistic, has sparked discussions and debates among the platform’s user base. Elon Musk Twitter X (CHRIS DELMAS/Getty) The first notable change was the deletion of embedded headlines and summary text from posted article links, which now only display an image with a diminutive URL in the bottom corner. Musk justified this move by highlighting the benefits of a cleaner look and the reduction of clickbait headlines. However, critics argue that this change allows users to “write anything at all in the text of a post and link to a story that says something else entirely,” due to the absence of embedded context in the tweet. This alteration also discourages users from clicking through to external sources, reflecting Musk’s previously expressed desire to retain users on the platform. In a subscriber-only post, Musk laid out his next step in refining X’s user interface: “Next, we’ll remove all the action buttons with their superfluous interaction counts from the main timeline. Just view count will show, unless you tap into a post. This will greatly improve readability.” This means that the numbers of replies, retweets, and likes on posts shown in the timeline will be hidden, leaving only the “view count” visible. While Musk emphasizes improved readability, skeptics perceive this as a strategy to mask whether a tweet has gone viral or received minimal engagement. Additionally, it is speculated that this move may be an attempt to shield tweets that get “ratioed” (receiving more replies or quote tweets than likes) from public view. If so, this change would dramatically favor leftists who typically get ratioed for hot takes wildly unpopular with most Twitter users. Moreover, the changes are likely to alter user interaction and engagement metrics on the site. To see a tweet’s full context and actual reply/retweet/like data, users will now have to click into it, thereby increasing the platform’s interaction and impression metrics. While Musk may argue that these changes enhance “readability,” critics suggest that altering user interface elements serves to artificially boost X/Twitter’s engagement numbers and reduce external link click-outs. Read more at Forbes here. Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship..

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