Hyderabad: In an era where social media has swamped us with its overwhelming presence, our lives appear to be hinged on the number of likes we accumulate on even the most inane of posts. And if someone has shared or retweeted a post, we have attained Nirvana.
In this scenario if the management of a social media platform declares its intention of getting rid of the ‘Like’ option, it is nothing short of sacrilege.
If sources are to believed, Twitter is contemplating to get rid of its heart-shaped ‘Like’ button. Due to the Dopamine effect of the ‘Like’ option, we tend to check a post ‘Likes’ every two seconds. While the ‘Like’ anxiety is become a growing concern with the kinds of debates on the micro blogging platform are deteriorating with slurs and abuses increasing each day.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey mentioned that he would removing the option soon, to improve the debate on the platform and cleanse it.
Meanwhile, there are silent users who tend to watch videos or absorb information by reading it and liking it.
Experts noted that Twitter should focus on putting a mechanism in place to curb the usage of bad words instead of removing the ‘Like’ option.
Mr Naresh Arora, Social Media expert and Director of DesignBoxed said, “It’s a two-way street. Rather than completely removing this option, a more customised option should be made available for political issues, which does not dilute the discourse. Also I don’t think political discourse is degenerated by these mechanisms, rather it's the lack of filters and checks on language and expressions, which leads to corruption of political debates.”
‘Likes’ are often used by politicians and celebrities to amplify their posts and there is a whole section of social media team dedicated to it. Even in the recent episode of Koffee with Karan, the host asked the two prominent actresses to post a photo to check who gets most ‘likes’.
Mr Karthik Srinivasan, an independent communications consultant said, “Like and dislike option have been a huge success in Youtube and Facebook especially with celebrities. They use it as their fan-followers. Removing the ‘Like’ button is a lofty move. People often use it as bookmark to go back and check because the existing book mark option isn’t user-friendly. To encourage conversation, more options of ‘like’ should be added instead of just removing an existing feature. People’s attention span is less and expecting them to comment and improve conversation is bizarre.”
Experts opined that instead of getting rid of ‘Likes’, more options which express emotions should be added. By completely removing the ‘Like’ option, Twitter is also denying the right to endorse a point of view on Twitter.
Social media expert Tinu Cherian Abraham said, “I think it is a completely bad idea to completely remove the ‘Like’ button, without giving an alternative. People use the ‘Like’ button for a variety of purposes and reasons to acknowledge liking of the tweet, to bookmark a tweet or finding something interesting or even bad, or sometimes to just say ‘I saw that tweet’ which is why a “Liking of a tweet” is often misunderstood.
Like Facebook, Twitter should also introduce multiple buttons to express more human emotions Like, Dislike, Laugh, Bookmark, Angry, Wonder etc.”
Nonetheless Twitter did not offer a definitive statement on the future of the feature. On Monday Twitter Communications said, “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’ We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now.”...