Former Twitter platform X announced on Thursday that 'likes' will now be private, aiming to safeguard users and boost engagement. This update involves the elimination of the 'Likes' tab on profile pages, preventing users from monitoring others' likes to discern their interests or political affiliations. This shift coincides with the platform's transformation into a hub for right-wing content following Elon Musk's acquisition in late 2022, leading to a decline in engagement among more left-leaning users. 'We are making Likes private to enhance your privacy,' X informed users via a pop-up message. 'Liking more posts will enhance your 'For You' feed,' X added. The 'For You' feed tailors content recommendations based on individual interests and past interactions. 'It's crucial to enable liking posts without fear of backlash!' Musk commented on social media. In another post, Musk noted a 'significant increase' in likes after they were made private. Prior to the change, X's head of engineering, Haofei Wang, criticized public likes for 'encouraging undesirable behavior.' 'Many feel hesitant to like 'edgy' content due to potential backlash from trolls or to preserve their public image.' Following Musk's $44 billion takeover, content moderation was relaxed and previously banned accounts, popular with the far-right, were reinstated. This led to a decrease in engagement, as per industry metrics, though X claims growth using other metrics. Major advertisers also withdrew, deterred by the association with inappropriate content. A recent Pew Research Center survey revealed that the percentage of Republicans viewing X as beneficial for democracy surged from 17% in 2021 to 53% in 2024, while the figure for Democrats dropped from 47% to 26% over the same period.