October 29, 2018
Twitter is split on another issue again — but this time the heat is directed at the social media platform itself.
Telegraph reported that CEO Jack Dorsey has thought about removing the "like" button on the site. Apparently the CEO isn't a fan of the pink heart button that allows users to "like" tweets they agree with or approve of, instead of starting a conversation about a topic.
At a recent Twitter event, Dorsey said he would get rid of the function "soon" to encourage healthy discourse on the platform, according to Telegraph.
"We have a big like button with a heart on it and we’re incentivizing people to want it to go up," Dorsey said at the WIRED25 summit. "Is that the right thing? Versus contributing to the public conversation or a healthy conversation? How do we incentivize healthy conversation?"
But the challenges faced over the nature of Twitter's debate may run deeper than just getting rid of the button.
For users who have faced threats and harassment on the platform, this may not be enough. Or, it could incite more harmful language.
In a statement posted on the platform from Twitter's communications account, the company said it did not have a plan "to share right now."
"As we've been saying for a while, we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivizing healthy conversation, that includes the like button. We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now," the statement read.
This is not a fucking debate site and the people who harasss you and then attack you for not “debating” them are the ones that need to be removed, @jack @twitter, not the “like” button. Either remove the fucking racists or just admit that you’re on their fucking side. https://t.co/xIaGBJxXI3— Petrify Ng 🧟♀️ (@pronounced_ing) October 29, 2018
Eliminating the "like" button will absolutely, certainly, 100% make the troll problem here way worse. The most common interaction here is the "like," and it's friendly and affirming. In new Twitter, the most common interaction will be a hostile reply. Who the hell wants that?— Max Kennerly (@MaxKennerly) October 29, 2018
Twitter: How could we improve this service?— Jordan Weissmann (@JHWeissmann) October 29, 2018
Users: Ban the fascists maybe?
Users: Or do something about the constant death threats?
Users: Or an edit...
Twitter: Got it. We’re nixing the like button.
how the hell do you end a twitter conversation without a like button— Sarah Hagi (@geekylonglegs) October 29, 2018
1) the problem is not the Like button, it is the auto-Retweet button— Frighty N. Gore (@moorehn) October 29, 2018
2) the like button is great because you can acknowledge you saw a tweet without having to reply at length
3) why doesn’t Twitter understand how its own platform is used? https://t.co/sNHEp2G5vg