Hi, can you explain us the use case - why your client doesn't want likes in the forum? What's his motivation? It's crucial for us to understand in order to make any changes.
Yes, they want to have a discussion board without seeing a running tally of likes (& now comments) on the summary forum page. They also do not want to see the pop-up profile card that appears when you hover over the author name. If someone chooses to read the discussion it is is okay to see that information on the post page.
My client doesn't want it in their forum.
For what, it is important!