Elon Musk proposes monthly fees to combat bots on Twitter’s X platform

Musk, who has long advocated charging for verification to combat fake accounts, emphasized that this measure could effectively deter bots.

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Elon Musk has suggested that users of the platform formerly known as Twitter, now called X, may need to pay for access. He stated that a small monthly payment would be implemented to help the platform fight bots. This move aligns with Musk’s long-standing idea of charging for verification to combat bots and fake accounts.

X Premium, which offers enhanced features, currently costs US$8 per month in the US. Musk also mentioned plans for a lower-tier pricing option. However, putting X behind a paywall may risk losing a significant portion of its user base, potentially impacting advertising revenue.

The conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed the issue of antisemitism on the platform, with Musk asserting his stance against it. The Anti-Defamation League has criticized X for not doing enough to combat antisemitic content. Netanyahu acknowledged the challenge of balancing free speech and content moderation, urging Musk to find the right balance.

Why does it matter?

The prevalence of bots and fake accounts has been a persistent issue on social media platforms, including Twitter. However, introducing a paywall risks discouraging a substantial portion of users accustomed to accessing the platform for free. In addition, it may disproportionately affect marginalised users, potentially exacerbating the digital divide.