Elon Musk has suggested that his social media platform, X, may no longer remain free to combat the issue of bots. Musk has proposed a small micro payment from all users as a solution to the problem, stating that the cost of bots, even if they only make a few dollars, is significant.
Bots are accounts run by computer programs/algorithms instead of humans and are prevalent on platforms where their use is to artificially boost engagement by flooding it with messages that have a negative impact on its users.
During his conversation, Netanyahu raised the issue of online anti-Semitism and how X “can stop the use of bots to amplify and increase it.”
Musk responded by saying that the company is moving towards introducing a small micro payment for the use of the X system for all users. According to Musk, implementing a payment facility for all users is the “only way” to counter the massive armies of bots.
“Because the cost of a bot is a fraction of a cent – let’s call it a tenth of a cent – but if someone has to make a few dollars, then the effective cost of a bot is much higher. And then, every time you have a new bot, you have to get a new payment method,” Musk explained.
Elon Musk has repeatedly talked about Twitter’s declining revenue and also stated in July that the platform has lost nearly half of its ad revenue. The platform has introduced a paid subscription for its Twitter Blue feature, where users have to pay $8/month for the monthly plan or $7/month for the annual plan. However, if a user signs up through the iOS or Android app, they will have to pay $11/month.
Additionally, Musk has reinstated previously banned accounts, including former U.S. President Donald Trump, and reduced content moderation. He also imposed temporary rate limits on tweets addressing “data scraping and system overuse.”
Rate limits are a threshold that prevents you from reaching the platform after seeing a certain number of tweets (up to the defined limit) in a given day. In simple words, Twitter users who have seen the “rate limit exceeded” message have reached the maximum number of posts they can view on that day.