Elon Musk is considering making everyone pay to use Twitter
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People could soon have to pay to use Twitter.
Elon Musk has floated the idea during a discussion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The two had a round table talk with President and co-Founder of OpenAI, Greg Brockman, and physicist Max Tegmark.
They chatted about the future of technology and the issues around artificial intelligence.
However, Bloomberg reporter Dave Lee said Musk made a quick admission about where he sees Twitter/X moving to in the future.
Elon Musk revisiting an idea apparently floated privately in the past -- charging *everyone* to use Twitter. A lower tier than premium. "We’ve moving to a small monthly payment for use of the X system," he just told Benjamin Netanyahu, saying it's only way to stamp out bots.— Dave Lee (@DaveLeeBBG) September 18, 2023
"The single most important reason that we’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system is that it’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots," he said (via Social Media Today).
"Because a bot costs a fraction of a penny, or a tenth of a penny, but if somebody even has to pay a few dollars or something, some minor amount, the effective cost of bots is very high, and then you also have to get a new payment method every time you have a new bot.”
Musk explained that a payment system for all users will be the only way to get rid of bots from the platform.
He said it would be a lower tier than premium, which is $8 per month at the moment.
Removing accounts that are run by fake or spam operators has been a primary concern of Musk ever since he took over Twitter/X.
He explained when he announced his bid to purchase the social media platform that it would be one of his big missions to make it a bot-free space.
"Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," Musk said in a press release.
"I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it."
However, an analysis done following the first Republican primary debate of 2023 discovered bot activity is 'worse than ever'.
Associate professor Dr Timothy Graham told the Guardian Australia: "It is clear that X is not doing enough to moderate content and has no clear strategy for dealing with political disinformation."
He said there were more than 1,000 accounts spreading disinformation as the primary debate was unfolding.
It happened at the same time Donald Trump was also being interviewed by former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
The tweets from these accounts were viewed by more than three million users, showing how amplified these messages can be.
It's unclear when Musk wants to implement the payment method for all users or if he'll be able to get approval for it to happen.
But it could be a humungous watershed moment for the platform and turn away loads of people if they have to pay for it.