Twitter looking to remove 'Like' button as a way to improve debate on social network

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Twitter may be saying goodbye to the "Like" button.

The social network has been looking at getting rid of the heart-shaped button as a way to improve debate on the platform, Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey said.

A company co-founder, Dorsey last week said at a Twitter event that the network would be getting rid of the "Like" button "soon," according to the British daily The Telegraph.

Twitter did not offer a definitive statement Monday on the future of the feature, which replaced the star-shaped "Favorite" button three years ago.

"As we've been saying for a while, we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivizing healthy , that includes the like button," the company said on its communications team's Twitter feed Monday. "We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now."

Twitter, like Facebook, has had to focus on countering manipulation of their platform including the removal of following Russian influence on their sites during and since the presidential campaign.

Dorsey recently appeared before Congress to detail how the network was dealing with those issues, as well as to answer criticism that it suppresses conservative voices.

Beyond that, there's concern that the loudest, and most agitative, voices are rewarded on Twitter with likes and retweets.

Dorsey has voiced concerns about that issue recently.

"What does the service currently incentivize?" Dorsey said earlier this month at an event for Wired magazine. "Right now we have a big Like button with a heart on it and we're incentivizing people to want it to go up" and to get more followers, he pointed out. "Is that the right thing? Versus contributing to the public conversation or a healthy conversation? How do we incentive healthy conversation?"

That's a tack he reiterated during the company's third-quarter earnings conference call with analysts last week.

"We have every team around the company thinking about increasing health of the public conversation," Dorsey said. "We're actually questioning some of the fundamentals and the incentives that the service is providing, and making sure that they are also encouraging and increasing healthy conversation on the service as well."

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