(NewsReady.com) – Billionaire free speech advocate Elon Musk completed his $44 billion purchase of Twitter in late October 2022. Since then, he’s changed the platform’s name to X, reinstated several accounts held by conservative voices, and reorganized the company’s approach to advertising. Musk has also consistently disputed reports he would charge casual users a fee for using the platform, going back months before he bought the Big Tech company. However, that rumor is spreading again, but this time, he’s the source of that claim.
Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 3, 2022
On September 18, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to California to meet with Musk for a recorded roundtable discussion about artificial intelligence. The conversation quickly shifted to talks about allegations that anti-Semitism and other forms of hate speech experienced dramatic growth on X in recent months.
That’s when Musk dropped a bomb. He told the Israeli leader that X was “moving to [establish] a small monthly payment” for platform users. Musk explained that creating a paywall would reduce the rising number of automated accounts, otherwise known as bots, on the site.
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) September 18, 2023
According to Musk, it only costs “a fraction of a penny” to set up those fake accounts, but charging “a few dollars, or something” could put a serious dent in those automated operations. “Every time a … creator [wants] to make another bot, they would need [to establish] another new payment method.”
So far, Musk hasn’t made any other reference to the possibility of establishing a pay-for-use system for X users or when it might begin. The Guardian and other media outlets contacted him for further comment on his remarks, but he has remained silent.
Even though Musk has a well-established pattern of making off-the-cuff statements, he recently established a premium subscription service on the platform. X Premium costs $11 a month and provides subscribers with a verified account checkmark and other perks.
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