Bill on the maximum number of “Likes”

“The Likes” Bill has been introduced in the U.S. Congress, which would require tech giants to impose a limit on the number of likes users can give per day.

2 mins read
Neon counter of the Likes at social media
Counter of the Likes at social media

The latest sociological surveys, which lasted from March 2022, showed that people do not know what they are liking. This creates a misunderstanding of what content is really popular, as well as adds confusion to the concepts of “good taste” and “bad taste”, what is actually “good” and what is “bad”.

Since the number of likes will be limited, the user’s conscious distribution of which post to like should lead to a more conscious choice. The bill is currently under development. According to rumors, the maximum number of likes per day will not exceed 10, although other options are being considered. Thus, the government wants to improve the quality of interaction between users of social networks. Their goal is to reduce the impact of algorithms and fraud and change user behavior to be more conscious. The introduction of limits on the number of likes per day will help limit some of the negative effects that may occur due to the unconscious use of this feature.

People are watching at the screen of  their mobile phones.
People are looking at their mobile phones. Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

Recall that earlier Facebook and other social networks on their own initiative have already hidden the number of likes for each post. This indicator is available only to the account owner. After all, one of these effects of putting down likes for some people in a row helped create the illusion for others that the number of likes is a measure of the quality of content.

Algorithms & fraud

This chasing likes among content creators not only changes the algorithms for what content to show to the user, but can also contribute to increased stress and anxiety for content creators who are trying to get more likes on their posts. As we can see, this problem has not been solved yet. With no limit on the number of likes, post authors can ignore the content of the post and focus only on how many likes it gets. A separate aspect is the likes boost. Under conditions of restriction in case of cheating, scammers will have to generate a larger number of bots. This leads to additional costs and an increase in the cost of such services. This, in turn, leads to the fact that the costs of acquisition of real users will be equal or even higher to the sum of the costs of massive likes by bots, which in their essence carry nothing, and the expediency of using such bots will disappear.

The Capitol building in the evening
The Capitol in the evening, Washington DC. Photo by MIKE STOLL on Unsplash

Introducing limits on the number of likes per day can also reduce the impact of social media algorithms on user behavior. With the introduction of such a restriction, content creators will really evaluate the quality of content. The idea is to make users more conscious of who they like. Users are expected to choose content that is really interesting to them, not content that just “looks popular”. The display of content in the news feed should also have a mandatory filter “Content of friends”. It will help to filter out those posts in the news feed that are posted by friends and acquaintances.

Next steps

A continuation of this initiative to reduce user activity on the Internet and number of comments per person. Such a step will also:

  • lead to a reduction in the amount of spam
  • reduce the load on the network itself
  • increase the efficiency of employees who sit for hours during working hours on forums and social networks, stare at smartphone screens on dates in restaurants, and so on.

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The editorial board comprises opinion journalists who draw on their expertise, research, debates, and longstanding values to form their views. It operates independently from the newsroom.

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