I’m Going to Miss Scrolling Through Your Weird Little Twitter Likes

Elon Musk's Twitter ended the platform's long-standing feature that's allowed me to stick my nose in all the weird shit you guys are into. Not so coincidentally, Musk himself has been caught liking questionable tweets.

I’m Going to Miss Scrolling Through Your Weird Little Twitter Likes

Some good news for Ted Cruz, Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers, and, of course, Twitter owner Elon Musk: As of Tuesday night, Twitter no longer visibly displays your liked tweets on your profile. This development is being rationalized as the struggling social media platform’s latest move to encourage, err, edginess, according to the Verge. I guess this makes sense since the site is also now relaxing some of its policies around porn—people are more likely to like and engage with “edgy” content if they know their likes aren’t visible on their profile anymore. And, as many social media users have speculated, this was probably personal for Musk, who’s previously been exposed liking bizarre and suggestive content including sexualized anime graphics. (Although, then again, he could have just used one of his two confirmed burner accounts!)

But I, personally, think this is bad. Maybe it will prompt more people to freely like porn, white nationalist memes, incel manifestos, and/or calls for a communist revolution, without concerns about their “public image,” as the Verge put it. But Twitter isn’t just for edge-lords and neo-Nazis (even though that’s certainly a growing demographic with Musk running the ship). This update will marginalize what is arguably Twitter’s core constituency: nosy people, such as yours truly.

To peruse a person’s Twitter likes is to rummage through the innermost recesses of their mind; since the dawn of the app, visible Twitter likes on a profile have allowed you to suss out whether someone is a giant man-whore addicted to liking women’s selfies; a self-important, Bill Maher-adjacent “free thinker”; an incel; a sigma male; perhaps just a lovable goof with an unhealthy (healthy?) obsession with kitten GIFs.

Is someone not replying to you and you want to know if they’re dead or alive? Check their liked tweets. Are you stoned in your room and feeling a little nosier than usual one night? Peep a rando’s liked tweets. Believe it or not, people who actually post—and not just retweet or like posts—on Twitter are very much the minority. Sometimes the most insight you’ll ever get into someone’s psyche is their liked tweets tab.

And then there’s the matter of accountability: Most people, sans Ted Cruz, were reined in by the knowledge that their likes were visible on their profile. A little shame can sometimes keep a place in check. I’m all for people being themselves to the fullest extent possible but if there’s one place I might temper that sentiment a bit, it’s Twitter dot com.

Conversely, if I were to devil’s advocate my own take: Perhaps there are some unknowns that should stay a mystery! At one point in time, which I will refrain from disclosing, I checked the liked tweets of a man I was seeing and as a result of what I witnessed, I have avoided dating ever since. A few years ago, while on a break with my then-boyfriend and going no-contact, I would torment myself by scrolling his liked tweets. (It never turned up anything encouraging, I’ll say that much!) After all, it’s been said a crush is nothing but an information deficit, because the more you know about someone, the more you wish you actually didn’t know anything at all.

So, that’s one side of things. But at the end of the day, not everything is about monitoring current or former or prospective partners. Some things are just about being nosey. And for me, that’s the liked tweets tab. As for “edginess”—trust, that’s never been lacking.

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