Elon Musk Suggests Twitter Users May Have to Pay for Access

Elon Musk Suggests Twitter Users May Have to Pay for Access

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Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has proposed that all users of Twitter, now known as X, may soon have to pay for access to the platform. In a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk claimed that a payment system would be the only effective way to combat bots and fake accounts on the social media platform. He stated, “We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system.” However, it is not clear whether this was just a casual remark or if there are concrete plans being developed.

Musk has long advocated for charging users for verification as a means to eliminate bots and fake accounts. Since taking over Twitter, he has introduced X Premium, an enhanced service that offers additional features to paid subscribers, such as longer posts and increased visibility. Currently, users can still access X for free, but Musk believes that getting people to pay even a small amount would significantly deter bots. He stated, “A bot costs a fraction of a penny. But if somebody even has to pay a few dollars or something, some minor amount, the effective cost to bots is very high.”

Although charging users may financially benefit the company, Musk insists that the primary motivation is to tackle the issue of bots. He announced plans to introduce a lower tier pricing option to accommodate users who prefer a more affordable plan. By putting X behind a paywall, there is a risk of losing a substantial number of users, which could impact the advertising revenue that currently constitutes the majority of the company’s income.

During the conversation with the Israeli prime minister, Musk also discussed the issue of antisemitism on X. The platform has faced criticism from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for not doing enough to combat antisemitic content. Musk expressed his opposition to antisemitism and mentioned the possibility of legal action against the ADL to defend the platform’s reputation. Both Musk and Netanyahu agreed on the importance of finding a balance between free speech and content moderation.

In conclusion, Elon Musk’s suggestion to implement a payment system for accessing X aims to address the problem of bots and fake accounts on the platform. He believes that charging users, even a small amount, would significantly deter bots. However, there are concerns about the potential impact on user numbers and advertising revenue. Additionally, the conversation with the Israeli prime minister touched upon the issue of antisemitism on X, with both parties emphasizing the need to find the right balance between free speech and content moderation.

– The original article James Clayton, North America technology reporter for the BBC.