One of billionaire CEO Elon Musk said Monday he will launch a monthly fee for the use of his social media platform X, previously known as Twitter.
The new subscription payment to access X would be smaller than the $8 charge currently charged for X Premium, Musk said in a livestreamed event with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Musk's comments on X's pricing plan come after Netanyahu mentioned the issue of bot accounts that amplify hate speech.
re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system is it's the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots, Musk told Axios.
Musk said the subscription fee would make it more difficult for people to create bot accounts because each account would need to register a new credit card.
Musk has said that he wants to 'defeat the spam bots' on Twitter, which was formerly Twitter or 'die trying'. Last year, he had threatend to back out of his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter based on concerns about the number of bot and spam accounts on the platform, claiming they represented upwards of 20% of Twitter accounts.
At the time, Twitter's former owners said the number was closer to 5%.
Whether a basic subscription fee to use X would alleviate the bot problem remains to be seen. It would certainly cushion the blow to X's revenue from advertisers leaving the platform.
As of late last month, Musk said X's ad revenue was down 60%. The advertisers exodus was based on pressure from the Anti-Defamation League and other groups that disagree with X's content moderation policies. Musk's belief that Twitter's previous leadership utilized for content moderation harmed free speech was a motivational factor in his decision to buy the company.
The ADL has revealed several reports hammering X since Musk's takeover.
Musk vowed to file a lawsuit against ADL for trying to 'kill' X with defamatory claims about hate speech on his platform.
I am pro free speech, but against antisemitism of any kind, he said.