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Elon Musk Mulls Making Twitter X Pay-to-Play to Fight Back Against ‘Armies of Bots’

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Elon Musk plans to introduce a nominal monthly fee for Twitter X usage to deter rampant bot activity.
  • Musk's proposal for a "lower tier of pricing" aims to increase the cost of running bots on X platform.
  • Transitioning to a 'pay-to-play' model for X is a strategic move to combat bots and a step towards monetization.
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Elon Musk, the maverick entrepreneur who acquired Twitter and rebranded it as X, has announced plans to introduce a nominal monthly fee for the platform’s usage. His goal is to deter the rampant bot activity that has become a concerning issue for social media networks.

This move follows a candid discussion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who suggested that curbing bot usage on X could be an effective measure against antisemitism.

Twitter X Might Soon Be Behind a Paywall

Musk’s proposal for a “lower tier of pricing” aims to increase the cost of running bots, which currently operate at “a fraction of a penny.”

In Musk’s words, a small user fee would make the effective cost of creating a large number of bots “very high.” He added that it’s,

“The only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots.”

This could be a game-changer in the fight against bot armies. These sophisticated botnets have been exploiting the platform for malicious purposes, including spreading hate speech and conducting crypto scams:

A screenshot of X (Twitter) account impersonating Ark Invest
A screenshot of X (Twitter) account impersonating Ark Invest

However, the bot problem isn’t restricted to X alone. Scammers have been exploiting social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and X using sophisticated AI technologies. They specifically like to create deepfake videos of famous personalities like Musk himself.

These deceptive practices have led to significant losses for unsuspecting victims. The promise of crypto giveaways and other fraudulent schemes lure many of these victims.

Read more: Mastodon: What To Know About the Decentralized Twitter Alternative

How to Sweep Away the Bots?

Transitioning to a ‘pay-to-play’ model for X is a strategic move to combat bots. It may also act as a necessary step towards monetization. Before Musk’s takeover, Twitter reported a staggering $344 million loss.

The entrepreneur’s efforts to monetize the platform have included the launch of X Blue. This premium service offers additional features for the popular TweetDeck service, with a paid version called XPro.

XPro Deck Now a Premium Service. Source: PC Tech Mag
XPro / TweetDeck Now a Premium Service. Source: PC Tech Mag

Musk’s proposed pay-to-play model for X has garnered mixed reactions. Some users have lauded the move as a bold step towards a bot-free platform. However, others have expressed concerns about the platform becoming less accessible to the general public.

Given the growing threats posed by bot armies and the need for sustainable revenue streams, Musk’s plan may well be a necessary step forward.

Musk’s strategy to combat bot armies and monetize X could set a precedent for other social media platforms grappling with similar challenges. Whether this move will effectively curb bot activity and generate a steady revenue stream for X remains to be seen.

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