Elon Musk suggests that social media platform X might become a paid service.

X owner Elon Musk leaves a US Senate bipartisan Artificial Intelligence Insight Forum at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on 13 September, 2023.Getty Images

Elon Musk has proposed that individuals utilizing X, previously known as Twitter, might be required to pay for their usage of the platform.

During a discussion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the billionaire emphasized that implementing a payment system was the sole solution to combat bots.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, announced that there will be a nominal monthly fee for utilizing the system.

X was approached by the BBC for additional information, however, the company has not yet provided a statement.

It is uncertain if this was a spontaneous remark or an indication of more concrete but unannounced intentions.

Mr Musk has long said that his solution for getting rid of bots and fake accounts on the social media platform is charging for verification.

Since taking over Twitter last year he has looked to incentivise users to pay for an enhanced service, which is now called X Premium.

This has been done by giving paid subscribers more features, like longer posts and increased visibility on the platform.

Currently, users are still able to utilize X without any cost.

Mr. Musk emphasized that the company’s intention to charge users is not solely driven by financial gain, but rather to address the issue of bots.

“I cannot reword”

The cost of X Premium is currently $8 (£6.50) per month in the United States. The price varies based on the subscriber’s country.

The wealthiest individual in the world mentioned that he is currently exploring more affordable alternatives for users.

“He mentioned that we are planning to introduce a more affordable pricing option. Therefore, we aim for it to be a nominal sum,” he stated.

Mr. Musk stated that this is the sole means of protection against large numbers of bots, although it requires a more extensive conversation to fully explain.

One potential concern is that if X is placed behind a paywall, it might result in a significant loss of users. Consequently, this could lead to a decrease in advertising revenue, which currently constitutes the majority of the company’s income.

Mr Musk’s conversation with the Israeli prime minister also touched on antisemitism on X.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) campaign group has accused the platform of inadequate efforts in preventing the spread of antisemitic content.

The organization stated that Mr. Musk was actively interacting with and promoting individuals who hold antisemitic views.

Earlier this month, he stated that the company would take legal action against the ADL in order to “restore our platform’s reputation”.

During the discussion with Mr. Netanyahu, Mr. Musk restated his opposition to antisemitism.

Mr. Netanyahu acknowledged that finding the right balance between free speech and content moderation can be challenging, but he encouraged Mr. Musk to strive for that equilibrium.

He expressed his hope that, within the boundaries of the First Amendment, people would be able to combat not only antisemitism but also any form of collective hatred that is embodied by antisemitism.

Mr. Netanyahu expressed his understanding of your dedication to that matter.

Related Topics

  • Elon Musk
  • Twitter