Billionaire Elon Musk announced that his social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, will soon be charging "a small monthly payment for use" during a live-streamed chat with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday (September 18).
Musk claims the payments will be enforced in an effort to combat the large number of bots that amplify hate speech on the popular app.
“The single most important reason we’re moving to have 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 said via the New York Post.
The billionaire claimed that changing X to a subscription social media site would make it difficult for bot accounts to be made as they would need to register a new credit card for access. Musk didn't specify how much he planned to charge users to access X, but said it would be "lower-tier pricing" compared to the $8 monthly charge currently enacted for premium subscribers.
“We’re wanting it to be just a small amount of money,” Musk added. “It’s a longer discussion, but in my view, this is the only defense against vast armies of bots, because as AI gets very, very good, it’s actually able to pass these sort of CAPTCHA tests better than humans.”
Musk announced his deal to purchase Twitter as part of a $44 billion buyout in April 2022, officially taking over the social media company in October 2022.