Elon Musk says new X users will have to pay to tweet: ‘Only way to stop bots’

Elon Musk is planning to charge new X (formerly Twitter) users a small fee to use the social media platform, a move that he believes could solve the bot problem. In reply to an X account that posted about changes on the microblogging website, Elon Musk said charging a small fee to new accounts was the “only way” to stop the “onslaught of bots.”

Elon Musk arrives at the Tenth Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, California.(AFP)

“Current AI (and troll farms) can pass ‘are you a bot’ with ease,” he said, referring to tools like CAPTCHA. In a reply to another user, he added that new accounts would be able to post after three months of creation without paying a fee.

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Elon Musk wrote, “Unfortunately, a small fee for new user write access is the only way to curb the relentless onslaught of bots.”

“This is only for new users. They will be able to do write actions for free after 3 months,” he added.

What changes now on X?

The change in policy was flagged by an automated account that tracks changes to X’s website. As per the account, the company experimented with charging a $1 annual subscription fee for users in the Philippines and New Zealand. 

What will be new X users charged for?

The “Not-a-Bot” terms and conditions page was included in the changes as per which new accounts must pay a “small annual fee” before being able to post, like, bookmark or reply to other tweets. 

What will remain free for new users on X?

New accounts will be able to follow other accounts and browse the platform for free.

How can this change help Elon Musk’s company?

The new fee could help X at a time when the company continues to lose value. The social media giant shed at least 71% of its value since Elon Musk acquired it, Fidelity noted after dozens of advertisers pulled their spending from X last November. The company lost $1.5 billion in ad revenue in 2023, it was reported. 

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