Elon Musk has proposed the idea that all users of Social media platform X , formerly known as Twitter, may need to start paying for access to the platform. In a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the billionaire expressed that implementing a payment system is the only effective approach to combatting bots on the platform.
Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, stated, “We are moving toward introducing a modest monthly fee for using the platform.” The BBC sought further clarification from X but has not received an official statement from the company as of now.
It remains uncertain whether Musk’s comment was spontaneous or a hint at forthcoming, more concrete plans yet to be announced. Musk has previously emphasized that charging for verification is his solution to eliminate bots and fake accounts from the social media platform.
Since taking over Twitter last year, Musk has been exploring ways to encourage users to subscribe to an enhanced service now called X Premium. This has been achieved by offering paid subscribers additional features such as longer posts and greater visibility on the platform.
However, as of now, users can still access X for free. While there is a clear financial incentive for the company to charge users, Musk underscored that the primary goal of making people pay for the service is to combat bots. He explained, “It costs only a fraction of a penny to create a bot. But if users have to pay even a small amount, the effective cost to bots becomes significantly higher.”
In the United States, X Premium currently costs $8 per month, with pricing varying depending on the subscriber’s country. Musk mentioned that they are considering introducing lower-tier pricing options to make it more affordable for users. He stated, “We intend for this fee to be minimal.”
Musk firmly believes that implementing a payment system is the most effective way to defend against the proliferation of bots, despite the potential risk of losing a significant portion of X’s user base by placing it behind a paywall. This, in turn, could lead to a reduction in advertising revenue, which currently constitutes the majority of the company’s income.
During his conversation with the Israeli prime minister, Musk also addressed the issue of antisemitism on social media platform x . The platform has faced criticism from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for not taking sufficient measures to curb antisemitic content. Musk previously mentioned that the company would take legal action against the ADL to protect the platform’s reputation.
In the discussion with Mr. Netanyahu, Musk reiterated his stance against antisemitism. While acknowledging the challenge of balancing free speech and content moderation, Mr. Netanyahu urged Musk to find the right equilibrium, saying, “I hope you can find a way within the bounds of the First Amendment to combat not only antisemitism but also any form of collective hatred that antisemitism represents.”