Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur who recently acquired X (formerly Twitter), has indicated that all users of the social media platform might need to pay for access as a measure to combat bots. During a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk stated that a small monthly fee for using the platform could be introduced.
Musk has previously advocated charging for verification as a means to eliminate bots and fake accounts on the platform. X has already launched X Premium, a paid subscription service, which offers additional features to subscribers, such as extended posts and increased visibility.
The exact nature of the payment system and the timeline for its implementation remain uncertain. Musk mentioned the need for lower-tier pricing options to make access affordable for a wider range of users. He argued that charging even a small amount could deter bots, as their cost of operation is significantly higher compared to free access.
However, there is a potential risk in placing X behind a paywall, as it could result in a decline in user numbers. This, in turn, might impact advertising revenue, a primary income source for the platform.
In addition to discussing the payment model, Musk’s conversation with Netanyahu touched on the issue of antisemitism on X. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has accused the platform of not doing enough to combat antisemitic content. Musk reaffirmed his stance against antisemitism during the conversation.
The conversation also highlighted the challenge of balancing free speech and content moderation, with Netanyahu urging Musk to strike the right balance within the confines of the First Amendment.
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