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Twitter (Sorry, X) Just Came Up With the Goofiest Reason To Give Elon Eight Bucks

Elon Musk looking confused and perturbed.

Elon Musk is the man of the moment: A rich, lonely white guy who somehow made the internet’s resident hellsite even worse. He’s got quite the CV from the past year too. Destroying the verified system and letting misinformation run rampant? Check. Rate limiting users until they give him $8 (or $84 per year for a steal!!!)? Yup. Ruining content moderation on the site and letting bigotry run rampant? You bet. Elon’s mismanagement of Twitter (sorry, X) may just be the biggest asset to rival microblogging site Blue Sky yet.

But it’s Twitter’s latest premium feature that’s truly making me scratch my head. If you give the site your precious eight bucks, it’ll let you hide your Likes. And Twitter is marketing the idea specifically toward users like myself, who have a Likes section filled with thirst traps and illicit illustrations.

“Keep spicy Likes private by hiding your Likes tab,” the official @X account tweeted yesterday morning. “Available to Premium subscribers.”

What a joke.

What exactly is the ‘Hide Likes tab’ feature?

According to X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue), Twitter now offers the option for your Likes tab to “only be visible to you.” In short, turning on the feature completely pulls it from other users’ view of your profile, so they can’t peruse through all the shitposts, lewds, and hot takes you’ve liked on Twitter.

“Your Likes timeline will also be hidden from the X APIs,” Twitter says. “Your individual Likes will still be visible on posts.”

The feature looks a bit like this in implementation. (Forgive me, dear reader, for owning an X Premium subscription for journalistic reasons)

Ana Valens' Twitter, demonstrating the option to hide Likes on Twitter (or X).
Ana Valens

Nifty, I guess. But honestly? It’s an insane cash grab to throw this in as a Premium feature. Tumblr has offered the option to hide likes for free for years now. And as a sex worker, I’m inclined to agree with other sex workers over the hypocrisy at play with this new feature. Elon’s reign over Twitter has made the website a far more hostile environment for sex workers, and yet the site wants to market its latest Premium feature to users looking at adult content.

“You don’t get to be nudge-nudge-wink-wink about porn when you’re doing everything you can to make your site less usable for sex workers,” sex worker Tetra tweeted.

So yeah, do yourself a favor, and don’t spend your precious eight bucks on a Likes hiding feature. Go put that money toward something that truly matters, like that one indie video game that lets you play a trombone off-key.

(feature image: Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

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Ana Valens (she/her) is a reporter specializing in queer internet culture, online censorship, and sex workers' rights. Her book "Tumblr Porn" details the rise and fall of Tumblr's LGBTQ-friendly 18+ world, and has been hailed by Autostraddle as "a special little love letter" to queer Tumblr's early history. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her ever-growing tarot collection.