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Freedom’s social media comeback: Trump breaks records on TikTok; Twitter hides likes

by WorldTribune Staff, June 14, 2024 Contract With Our Readers

Roughly one-third of Americans aged 18–29 regularly get their news from TikTok, the Pew Research Center found in a late 2023 survey.

Joe Biden's team has regularly posted videos to TikTok since February. The 81-year-old Democrat has been hemorrhaging young voters ever since.

In spite of (or maybe due to) posting dozens of videos, Biden has less than half a million followers on TikTok.

Donald Trump joined TikTok in the first week of June. He had almost 6 million followers within one week.

Trump's first TikTok video, highlights of his overwhelming reception from a huge crowd at a UFC event in New Jersey, quickly had more than 50 million views had over 6 million likes.

Trump said in a statement he would "use every tool available to speak directly with the American people."

"Biden is floundering with young voters, while support for Trump among that demographic is exploding," Modernity news noted.

Meanwhile, X, formerly Twitter, is rolling out its new policy of private likes. Under the new policy pushed by X owner Elon Musk, what users like on the platform will be hidden by default, which is already an option for X’s Premium subscribers.

It is “important to allow people to like posts without getting attacked for doing so!” Musk said.

X’s director of engineering, Haofei Wang, said the change is meant to protect users’ public image — because “many people feel discouraged” to like “edgy” content.

“Soon you’ll be able to like without worrying who might see it,” Wang said last month.

The Likes tab on user profiles will be gone. Users will still be able to see who liked their posts and the like count for all posts, but they will not see the people who liked someone else’s post, according to X senior software engineer Enrique Barragan.

Musk reportedly told the platform’s engineers last year that he wanted to get rid of the tweet action buttons altogether and instead place a stronger emphasis on post views (also called “impressions”).

“Social media in general is shifting away from like counts, so this makes sense,” a source told The Verge. “Part of me thinks [Musk] just wants to disassociate from Twitter more and more.”

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