Thursday, July 26, 2018

Why Twitter Should Not Display "Likes" in One's Timeline

Many months ago when I visited Twitter I noticed something that rather annoyed me in my timeline. Quite simply, Twitter was displaying "likes" (what was once called "favourites") there. As to why this annoyed me, it is because to me Twitter's timeline should consist of only two things: tweets and retweets. "Likes" are neither tweets nor retweets, so to my mind they have no business being there.

Indeed, I don't particularly care what others might like on Twitter and, what is more, I suspect many Twitter users are like me in that regard. Indeed, a Google search reveals various articles full of tricks to hide "likes" on one's Twitter timeline. There is even a Stylish userstyle that was designed to hide "likes", but sadly it has not been updated in ages and no longer seems to work. It seems clear to me that many, perhaps most Twitter users don't want to see "likes" in their timelines.

Sadly, for the moment there seems to be very little one can do about "likes" in one's timeline. The only means I have found of reliably dealing with them on Firefox is to click the little down arrow in the corner of the "like" and mark it "I don't like this tweet". Eventually "likes" will stop displaying in one's timeline, but only for about a month. They will then reappear and one will have to go through the whole process again.

As it is, I rather suspect most people have some expectation of privacy when it comes to their "likes". They certainly don't expect for those "likes" to be displayed for all of Twitter to see. While others knowing I liked a particular tweet doesn't bother me, I do sympathise with those who don't want their "likes" known to the whole world. I have to wonder that many of these people have stopped liking Tweets entirely. I am sure that was probably not Twitter's intention.

It seems to me given many people don't want "likes" displayed in their timelines and many probably would rather their "likes" be somewhat more private that Twitter should entirely cease displaying "likes" on individual's timelines. Short of that, Twitter should give users the option of hiding "likes" in their timeline. I rather think they would be surprised at how many people would choose that option! Until such time, I suppose I will be manually hiding "likes" on my timeline at least once a month...

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