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Elon Musk suggests putting all of X, formerly Twitter, behind paywall

Elon Musk suggests putting all of X, formerly Twitter, behind paywall

Elon Musk has floated the idea of charging all users on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

The entrepreneur made the suggestion while in conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, suggesting it may be the only way to combat bots on the platform.

During a live-streamed conversation on AI, the billionaire said the social media network was “moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system” to tackle “vast armies of bots.”

It is not clear if the remarks represent a concrete proposal to charge all users, or if the move will be carried out.

The Tesla and SpaceX founder also did not reveal details of how much users would be charged if the proposal came into force, or whether they would receive any additional features as a result.

He said a fee would make it more difficult for bots to create accounts as each bot would need a new credit card to register, and while each charge would be relatively small, the cumulative cost would add up.

“It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots,” Mr Musk said.

“Because a bot costs a fraction of a penny – call it a tenth of a penny – but even if it has to pay a few dollars or something, the effective cost of bots is very high.”

Mr Musk said during the conversation that X now has 550 million “monthly users,” who create around 100 million to 200 million posts per day.

He did not elaborate on how many of those users were genuine versus bots. Before Mr Musk’s takeover of the platform in May 2022, Twitter reported an “average monetizable daily active usage” of 229 million.

The entrepreneur has come under fire since his takeover of Twitter, with critics saying his ‘absolutist’ free speech position has led to a resurgence of hate speech on the network.

Among those who have had their accounts restored under Mr Musk include former US President Donald Trump, Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene and neo-Nazi website founder Andrew Anglin.

However, he told Mr Netanyahu that he was “against anti-Semitism”, and against “anything that promotes hate and conflict”.

“I’m sort of against attacking any group, you know. Doesn’t matter who it is,” he said.