The Tesla CEO is toying with the possibility of charging people ‘small’ monthly payments to use X (formerly known as Twitter).
Elon Musk purchased the popular social media brand for a reported $44 billion (£38 million) in 2022.
Yet, under his leadership, a number of changes he has made have been met with scrutiny.
From laying off a number of senior executives to controversially changing the name from Twitter to X (although, I think everyone is still calling it Twitter).
But if Musk sticks to his most recent claim, his upcoming change could cause the most backlash yet.
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During a live-streamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the SpaceX founder revealed that the social media network is ‘moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system’ as a means to combat ‘vast armies of bots’.
Musk explained that X has 550 million ‘monthly users’ who generate 100-200 million posts per day and he believes that the small fee would be necessary to deal with the problem posed by bots.
“Because a bot costs a fraction of a penny – call it a tenth of a penny – but even if it has to pay a few dollars or something, the effective cost of bots is very high,” he added.
Musk did not however disclose any more details such as how much people would have to pay or what the perks are for paying to use X.
Judging by the reaction on social media, it’s fair to say that not everyone agrees with Musk’s proposal.
“I love X but I’m not paying a penny,” writes one person.
Someone else comments: “Then I will be done. I had Facebook only for years. No problem going back.”
A third pens: “So Elon, a supposed champion of free speech, is now saying that you can have free speech on X if you pay for it!”
“Oh, this is for the bots. Has nothing to do with making money. Seems legit,” jokes another user.
While a fifth person speculates: “I’m convinced that Elon Musk is purposely trying to run X into the ground at this point.”
Since purchasing the social media company, Musk has already introduced a subscription fee to anyone who wants to have a blue tick by their name.
Previously, a blue tick was used to verify the identity of high-profile individuals such as celebrities, politicians, journalists as well as organisations and companies – meaning that you couldn’t mistake them for fan pages or fake accounts.
But when the Boring Company founder took over, he made everyone who wanted a blue tick become a Twitter Blue subscriber, which costs $8 a month.