Twitter Is Rethinking One Of Its Most Recognisable Features

Today, Twitter announced that it is rethinking everything, including the future of the "like" button, in an effort to incentivise "healthy conversation" on the social media platform.
At a company event last week, founder Jack Dorsey said that he planned to get rid of the identifying feature "soon," reports the Telegraph. Dorsey went one step further to say that he "was not a fan of the heart-shaped button."
The future of the button was also addressed by the Twitter communications team in a tweet which read:
"As we've been saying for a while, we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivising healthy conversation, that includes the like button. We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now."
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Twitter Comms / Twitter.
We first got a glimpse of Dorsey's opinions on his own and other similar platforms in a recent text conversation with Kanye West. In a now deleted Instagram post, Dorsey agreed with West about some of the toxic aspects of vanity metrics and follower culture saying, “We want to incentivise contribution to the global conversation and consciousness.”
Twitter has been in the news repeatedly as its users question why the platform continues to verify accounts of known white supremacists while failing to consistently address accounts espousing hate-filled ideologies that are racist, antisemitic, and homophobic. Rather than removing reportable rhetoric, this design shift to promote healthy debate would make it less publicly known who supports questionable tweets which have been a proven precursor to dangerous behaviour, as was the case with the mail bomb suspect, Cesar Altieri Sayoc. On one hand, it would give less of a publicised platform to hateful tweets. Currently, likes are public. The move would also raise questions about how Twitter prioritises and promotes tweets.
The like button has taken on various forms over the years. Originally in the shape of a star to favourite tweets, the heart-shaped like button was added as a replacement in 2015. “Us making that number bold and big incentivises people to want to increase it, and feel bad if they couldn’t. That’s not right," Dorsey continued. But the toxicity has gone beyond comparison and social pressure as people take their opinions offline and into the real world.
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Twitter users aren't excited about the news. Many see it as attempting to fix a non-issue while ignoring bigger, more glaring problems.
@JenKirkman / Twitter.
@JoshButler / Twitter.
@MatthewACherry / Twitter.
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