Elon Musk is signaling he’s thinking about requiring users to pay to post on Twitter.
Musk brought up the idea on Monday during a live discussion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about technology, including AI and the future of Twitter (also known as X).
During the talk, Netanyahu mentioned the need to prevent bots on Twitter from reposting inflammatory content, such as hate speech. In response, Musk said: “This is actually a super tough problem. Really, I’d say it’s the single most important reason that we’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system.”
“It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots,” he said, adding that raising the costs for bot operators might stymie their activities. (His comments start at the 34:30 mark.)
It’s the same reasoning Musk mentioned in November when Twitter began letting almost any user buy access to a verified blue checkmark for $8 per month. So initially, it was unclear if Musk was referring to a new subscription plan or the existing Twitter Blue/X Premium. But later on while speaking with Netanyahu, Musk mentioned expanding subscription options for X.
“We’re actually going to come out with a lower tier pricing,” he said. “We just want it to be a small amount of money. It’s a longer discussion. But in my view, this is the only defense against vast armies of bots.”
Hence, the statement is raising the prospect that Twitter wants to charge all users a fee to post on the social media platform, which has been struggling financially. Of course, forcing users to pay would alienate much of Twitter’s user base. Still, Musk says the social media site needs to institute stricter anti-bot measures, citing the rise of generative AI programs,Read more on pcmag.com