Elon Musk says X could charge all users a “small monthly payment”
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Elon Musk says X could charge all users a “small monthly payment”

Elon Musk announced on Monday that Online platform X might start charging a monthly fee for all users to battle the invasion of pesky bots.

Elon Musk, who acquired the platform for a staggering $44 billion in October of the previous year, back when it was still known as Twitter, has been making a slew of changes.

Under his ownership, the platform has seen massive layoffs, the introduction of a premium paid option, reduced content moderation, and the reinstatement of previously banned accounts, including former US president Donald Trump’s.

In July, Musk disclosed that the platform had suffered a nearly 50% drop in its advertising revenue. The culprits? Bots – automated accounts managed by computer programs instead of humans – are a common nuisance on X. They’re often used to artificially boost political messages or spread racial hatred.

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During a conversation with Musk on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought up the issue of online anti-Semitism and inquired about X’s strategies for thwarting bot armies that replicate and amplify such hateful content.

Musk responded with an intriguing proposition, stating that the company was contemplating the introduction of a nominal monthly fee for accessing the X system.

He elaborated on his reasoning, saying, “It’s the only solution I can think of to counteract the vast hordes of bots. You see, a single bot costs just a tiny fraction of a penny—let’s call it a tenth of a penny. However, when users are required to pay even a modest amount, say a few dollars, the actual cost of deploying bots becomes prohibitively high. Moreover, each time a new bot is deployed, it necessitates setting up a new payment method, adding another layer of complexity.”

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This conversation unfolded on X, at a time when the Tesla magnate finds himself embroiled in a dispute with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a US-based Jewish organization.

Musk has accused the ADL of leveling baseless allegations of anti-Semitism, which he contends have frightened off advertisers and adversely affected his company’s revenue. He’s even gone as far as threatening to file a lawsuit seeking billions of dollars in damages.

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