On the internet, everything is forever — until it's not. According to a report from The Telegraph, Twitter may be getting rid of the "like" button, so make sure to like all the good Twitter things with an open mind and heart (pun intended) before it's too late. Just one more piece of the social media landscape that's fading before our eyes.
According to the report, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey said at a Twitter event the week of Oct. 22 that he wasn't a fan of the heart-shaped "like" button and would get rid of it soon. The move is reportedly an attempt to improve the quality of debate on the social media network, which if you've ever been on Twitter is kind of optimistic. Elite Daily reached out to Twitter for comment on the reports, but did not immediately hear back.
On Monday, the Twitter Comms team responded to the story, saying that the company was focusing on creating a platform for healthy conversation — including reevaluating the "like" button, but didn't confirm or deny the reports. The company said in a tweet, "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."
Of course, not everyone was happy about the reports. Some people responded to the tweet by noting that not everyone uses the platform for conversation or debate, and that many people tap the heart button on tweets to bookmark, acknowledge a reply without participating in a conversation, or because the tweet deserves recognition. "What would promote healthy conversations would be for you to take peoples reports seriously and have them reviewed by actual human beings," wrote one user.
And some people had other ideas about how to create more civility and "healthy conversations" on the social media site.
But while it's important to reevaluate how social media is used and work to keep it accessible for everyone, does that really have to include possibly getting rid of the "like" button? How will I let all the dogs on Twitter know that they're good boys and girls?
Twitter has been grappling with ways to improve communication on the platform for some time. In August, Dorsey told The Washington Post that Twitter was rethinking the platform to prevent the spread of hate speech, harassment, false news, echo chambers, and conspiracy theories. During that interview, he also mentioned he would be open to labeling bots, redesigning the way follower counts are displayed, and reimagining the "like" button. He told the Post, “The most important thing that we can do is we look at the incentives that we’re building into our product. Because they do express a point of view of what we want people to do — and I don't think they are correct anymore.”
Whether or not the "like" button will last, at least we can rest assured that there's one corner of Twitter where we can be guaranteed the civility and goodwill that we all want to see. So, maybe we all just limit ourselves to following those accounts for cute dogs? Hey, it just might work.