In a recent livestream with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Elon Musk discussed plans to introduce a monthly subscription fee for all users of X, formerly known as Twitter, as part of a strategy to combat the platform’s “vast armies of bots.”
CNBC reports that Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, has once again made headlines, this time for his plans to overhaul the social media landscape. During a livestreamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk announced that X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, may implement a monthly subscription fee for all users. The move is part of a broader strategy to combat the proliferation of bots on the platform.
“Moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” Musk said, although he did not disclose the exact cost or features that would be included in the new subscription model. The announcement comes as Musk boasts of 550 million active monthly users on Twitter/X who generate between 100 and 200 million posts per day. Although the number seems impressive, it isn’t clear what percentage of these accounts are bots instead of people, and Musk is not disclosing the platform’s metrics according to measurements formerly used by Twitter, so a historical comparison of the platform’s health is difficult.
The conversation with Netanyahu was initially intended to focus on the theoretical risks of artificial intelligence technology and its potential regulation. However, Musk seized the opportunity to address allegations of hate speech and antisemitism on Twitter/X. The platform has been under scrutiny for amplifying bigotry, leading Musk to threaten legal action against the Anti-Defamation League, a leftist organization.
Musk’s leadership has brought significant changes to Twitter/X since its acquisition for around $44 billion in late October. The platform also eliminated its “blue check” verification system, replacing it with a blue subscriber badge for users who pay a fee. Those who pay see their posts prioritized, while non-paying users experience lower levels of amplification for their posts. It remains to be scene if Musk will enact a plan to charge all users to access the platform, instead of just those seeking algorithmic boost.
Read more at CNBC here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.