Billionaire owner of X, Elon Musk, has said the platform, formerly known as Twitter, is gearing up to charge all users for accessing the site.
He indicated that establishing a paywall around the company would deter the bots, or automated accounts, which have grown to be an Achilles’ heel for the tech giant.
The CEO of Tesla stated that X might start charging its user base while speaking in a meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
X currently only charges users for its subscription service X Premium, which includes benefits like a verified account checkmark and costs £11 in the UK and $11 in the US for iPhones.
It’s the same $11 for Android apps and iOS users in Nigeria but $8 for web. This is because subscription cost is higher if done through the app, but lower on the web.
Musk stated: “We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system.”
According to him, bots cost “a fraction of a penny” to set up so raising the cost of an account to “a few dollars or something” could put off operators of the software.
He added: “Plus, every time a bot creator wanted to make another bot, they would need another new payment method.”
The discussion between Musk and Netanyahu was supposed to be about technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI), but it swiftly veered off to a debate on free speech and antisemitism after complaints that X wasn’t doing enough to stop racist content on the platform.
Netanyahu hoped Musk would find ways within the confines of the First Amendment to crack down on antisemitism and other forms of hate speeches on the microblogging platform.
He said: “I encourage you and urge you to find the balance, it’s a tough one.”
Meanwhile, Musk had used his account on X to say that he is “pro-free speech, but against antisemitism of any kind.”