Pay to tweet: Elon Musk may lock X behind a paywall

"Initial results show promising neuron spike detection," Elon Musk says of Neuralink's transplant.

"Initial results show promising neuron spike detection," Elon Musk says of Neuralink's transplant. Photo: Getty

Elon Musk has hinted that X, his platform formerly known as Twitter, could soon go behind a paywall.

The billionaire businessman had a sit-down interview in California with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in the US, earlier this week. 

During the chat, Musk floated an idea to combat bots on X, which could shake up the platform’s subscription system if implemented.

He suggested a tier below the existing X Blue subscription; essentially it would be a small monthly fee people would have to pay to use X.

“We’re wanting it to be just a small amount of money,” Musk told Netanyahu, according to Deadline.

“It’s a longer discussion, but in my view this is the only defence against vast armies of bots, because as AI gets very, very good, it’s actually able to pass these sort of CAPTCHA tests better than humans.”

pictured is Elon Musk

Elon Musk and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in California. Photo: Twitter

Musk said bots cost a “fraction of a penny” but the price would go up if X made users pay to be on the platform.

Musk gave no indication of how much it would cost for people to remain on X, only that it would be a “small amount”.

Before the meeting, Netanyahu’s office said the two would discuss artificial intelligence.

They both agreed the benefits of AI needed to be measured against the risks it poses to society.

Netanyahu said that like-minded states should agree to a code of ethics and conduct, but even then it would still be necessary to “police” against rogue actors, the Associated Press reported.

Elon Musk urged to roll back antisemitism

Since taking the reins of Twitter and renaming it X, Musk has been accused of allowing hate speech to spread on the platform.

Recently, Musk threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) – a Jewish civil rights organisation, for defamation.

Musk said the ADL had “falsely accused” both him and the X platform of being antisemitic, causing a substantial drop in the social media platform’s advertising revenue as a result.

In a series of posts, the billionaire owner of the platform said the company’s ad revenue in the US was down 60 per cent, which Musk said was “primarily due to pressure on advertisers by the ADL”.

Antisemitism was discussed when Musk met Netanyahu.

“I know your commitment to free speech, but I also know your opposition to antisemitism,” Netanyahu told Musk.

“You’ve spoken about it, tweeted about it. And all I can say is, I hope you find, within the confines of the First Amendment, the ability to stop not only antisemitism, or roll it back as best you can.”

Musk responded by saying he was against antisemitism and “anti-really anything” that promotes “hate and conflict”.

“I’m in favour of that which helps society and takes us to a better future for humanity collectively,” the billionaire said.

Protesters gathered outside Tesla’s factory, where Musk and Netanyahu spoke.

The billionaire admitted he received plenty of negative feedback from Tesla employees before the meeting.

Just last week Israel’s Supreme Court began hearing arguments against a bid by Netanyahu’s government to curb the court’s powers, in a historic session that has already inflamed a crisis in the country.

His critics say the judicial reforms undermine democracy, and people in Israel and abroad have called for Netanyahu’s resignation.

Netanyahu’s religious-nationalist Coalition passed the judicial amendment in July.

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.