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You’ve Been Warned: Twitter Might Be Removing the ‘Like’ Button

Start taking advantage of the “like” button on Twitter, because it may be going away soon. According to The Telegraph, Twitter’s CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey said last week that the social media network is removing the option “soon” in an attempt to “improve the quality of debate,” the newspaper reported. The removal would come just three years after Twitter introduced the feature, which replaced the star-shaped “favorite” button at the time. 

Twitter didn’t issue a statement in response to the story; however, the company’s communications team quote tweeted The Telegraph‘s article, only to neither confirm nor deny the claim about the like button. “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,” the tweet read. “We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now.”

But Dorsey’s own comments from earlier this month seem to indicate plans to do something along the lines of removing the like button. “What does the service currently incentivize? Right now we have a big like button with a heart on it and we’re incentivizing people to want it to go up,” he said at a WIRED magazine event. “Is that the right thing? Versus contributing to the public conversation or a healthy conversation? How do we incentive healthy conversation?”

The news came at a seemingly bad time for Twitter, as the company faces continued backlash for its failure to respond to harassment and violent content. Just last week it was discovered that the man suspected of mailing bombs to Democrats had “an active and hostile” Twitter account, Vox reported. 

The company has taken action against hate speech in the past, but Twitter is ultimately still trying to figure out how to deal with the problem. Whether or not that will include removing the like button is currently TBD. 

Follow Allison on Twitter @AllisonMCrist.
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