Tech billionaire Elon Musk said he plans to start charging all users of X, his social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
“We are moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” Musk said during a live-streamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. “It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots.”
Musk and Netanyahu discussed the rise of AI and ways to curb antisemitism and hate speech on X. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said X currently has about 550 million monthly users posting between 100 to 200 million posts per day, and “some of those are going to be bad.”
When asked about ways to prevent fake accounts from amplifying hateful posts, Musk said setting up a paywall for the site is the “only defense,” as a subscription would make it harder for bots to create multiple accounts using multiple credit cards.
“A bot costs a fraction of a penny … but if someone has to pay a few dollars or a minor amount, the effective cost of bots is very high,” Musk said.
While Musk did not specify how much the monthly payment would be, he said he plans to come up with a “lower tier pricing” for users, different from X’s current premium subscription, which starts at approximately €9 a month.
Since acquiring Twitter in October 2022 for a whopping $44 billion, Musk has implemented a series of changes that have rattled the platform’s users. Along with a drastic reshuffling of the company’s administration and the introduction of the premium subscription, the most notable change has been the application’s rebrand to X earlier this year.