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Elon Musk Will Start Charging X (formerly Twitter) Users a Monthly Fee

X owner, Elon Musk, has disclosed plans to introduce a monthly subscription for all users of the social media platform. He announced the move during a live-streamed meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Musk hopes that the move will help combat the “vast army of bots” and drive up Twitter’s declining ad revenues. 

Twitter’s U.S. ad revenue has suffered a heavy blow recently, dropping by an embarrassing 60%. Musk blames the activities of bots and the overzealousness of civil rights and consumer groups. 

X has come under heavy criticism from civil rights groups for amplifying the voice of white supremacists and anti-Semitic champions, an allegation Musk has vehemently denied. Musk himself has been accused of the act. 

A Jewish civil rights organization, The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), has fingered several of Musk’s actions, including his replies to alleged anti-Semitic X accounts, as being responsible for the rise of anti-semitism. Musk’s accusation of Jewish billionaire philanthropist George Soros of eroding “the very fabric of civilization” has also been regarded as an anti-Semitic action. Musk has threatened to sue the organization for defamation. 

Musk’s meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister is one in a series of moves he hopes will repair his perception amongst the Jewish community. During the talks, the Israeli leader had admonished the X founder on the need to tackle the proliferation of anti-Semitism on his platform. Netanyahu believes that the threat has surged since Musk’s ownership of the platform. 

In his response, Musk disclosed that 100 to 200 million posts are shared on X every day. Some of those are going to be bad,” he reasoned. The SpaceX owner went on to add that nothing in X’s policy supports the promotion or modification of such harmful posts. 

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Musk declared that his objective is to promote the “common digital town square” that he believes X should embody. The X owner hasn’t hidden his desire to repair the platform’s previous reputation as a stifler of free speech. Before he assumed ownership of the company, Twitter had been known to clamp down heavily on conservative voices, including former President Donald Trump. 

In his reaction, Netanyahu suggested that Musk find a balance between the promotion of free speech and the war against anti-Semitism. The Prime Minister, who was on a visit to the tech community in America’s San Francisco Bay, spoke about the need to govern artificial intelligence by a code of ethics that will be unfriendly to hate speech. 

Musk responded by reiterating his commitment to curbing the activities of bots who are primarily responsible for promoting hate speech. He then announced the proposed monthly payment policy. “The single most important reason we’re moving to having 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. 

The monthly policy will run on a lower-tier pricing policy than the Premium X which already charges a monthly fee of $8. If the move scales through, X’s 550 million monthly users will drop significantly, the spread of hate speech will reduce, and the platform will win back advertisers’ trust.

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Written By Mark Smith

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