Elon Musk is considering a fee for everyone on the social media platform X. He is not working on the plan behind his computer, but he already discussed it publicly during a conversation on AI with Israel’s prime minister.
According to Musk, X can only break free from bots by charging all users a small payment. “We are moving to a small monthly payment for using the X system. It’s the only way I can think of to fight huge armies of bots.”
The idea was revealed in a conversation with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel. Dave Lee, journalist at Bloomberg, then reported on the plans on X.
The payment is intended to discourage bots administrators from using the social media platform any longer. According to Musk, it costs only a few cents to create a bot and have it managed by a computer program, but the cost of “a few dollars” makes the use of bots unattractive. “In addition, each time you want to use a new bot, you have to specify a new payment method,” Musk further argues.
Although X has a new CEO, Musk still has a major influence on the platform’s operation. His view for the social media platform is a place for “freedom of speech, not reach”. By the latter, he refers to the intentions of bots’ administrators.
A proponent of a platform for freedom of expression, more radical opinions and profiles are once again appearing on X under his leadership. His stance is a stumbling block for advertisers. They don’t want their message to be associated with hate messages, for example. That problem should have been addressed with a new ad model, but that model will not (immediately) correct the loss of revenue. The platform’s ad revenue dropped by half since Musk took over, which he himself sent to his followers on X.
Nor are advertisers fans of bots. By appeasing advertisers, he only risks losing even more X users. These users will be absorbed by Threads as the platform needs a bigger reach to count as a rival.
Details, such as an exact timeline or the cost of using X, are unknown.