Twitter, the digital petri dish inhabited by screaming Nazis, racists, and misogynists who should be banned much faster than they actually are, is making steps to make the platform better… by reportedly removing the “like button.”
The Telegraph reports that Twitter founder Jack Dorsey admitted at an event recently that he didn’t like the button and wanted to get rid of it “soon” so as to inspire better “debate” on Twitter. How exactly that fosters better “debate” on a platform overflowing with hate speech is unclear to me, as is deciding to delete a button when Twitter could, perhaps, just crack down on disabling the accounts of future terrorists. Katie Notopoulos at Buzzfeed pointed out that the Telegraph’s reporting seems a little sketchy, adding that Buzzfeed attended an event with Twitter last week and the like button disappearing was never mentioned.
But in a world in which the Twitter “like” button does disappear, everyone needs to buckle up and develop a sense of self worth. Seriously, all those favs you accumulated over the past several years will be gone if not now then some day, and I don’t know if some of you will be able to handle a reality in which nobody actually likes what you say on Twitter, because there’s literally no way to “like” any of it (and also everyone is stupid on Twitter anyway).
Yes, in the past, you could publish a photo of a contemplative corgi looking at its own reflection in a pond with the words “it me” and garner 500 likes and feel good about yourself because, wow, you are so good at recognizing when it you. Not that everyone has that talent, you know? Or maybe you’re a woke white man who loves to #amplify the #inspiring voices of women by tweeting everything they’ve already said in other forums in exchange for dozens of delicious favs, and your Twitter is, like, your activism man, and that’s why you don’t need to show up to protests or actually do on-the-ground work!
But those days are soon over if, as the Telegraph claims, Jack actually deletes the precious like button. So I want you to stare in the mirror, really look at yourself, put on a Sara Bareilles song, and think about what you like about yourself that doesn’t include racking up likes on your off-the-cuff, funny observations on Twitter. And then when you’re done that, turn off the lights, and say “Bloody Mary” three times fast and tell me if you see anything.
Did you see anything? Really, no lady covered in blood?
On the platform in question, people were pretty surprised by Dorsey’s attitude to the ‘like’ button.
Twitter, you ok?
This would be a weird thing to do… https://t.co/Fd70lC9Qk6
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) October 29, 2018
Many users pointed out that Twitter has much deeper challenges and that changing basic functionality was the wrong place to start improving the platform:
Users: hey can you get rid of the Nazis please
Twitter: ok sure, we’ve changed the stars to hearts for likes
Users: no no, zero Nazis please
Twitter: yep we’re getting rid of Vine
Users: nah hey, what about the Nazis
Twitter: ok ok fine, no more likes https://t.co/HKE0BrCiVU
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) October 29, 2018
What the actual fuck? This is all they could come up with? https://t.co/x7H0ym02lE
— Owen Williams ⚡ (@ow) October 29, 2018
Others will believe it when they see it:
I’m skeptical of this actually happening https://t.co/r5fBAr4XSm
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) October 29, 2018
The like button was added to Twitter in 2015 as replacement for the previous favorites button, which was star-shaped.