We wrote about it in a recent article: it seems we are moving towards the era of paid social media.
The streaming platforms have started, remodulating the rates upwards and eliminating (for example the case of Netflix) the basic plan without advertising. And it seems that Meta is also thinking about a monthly fee for access to Instagram and Facebook.
A similar idea came to Elon Musk a few weeks ago, in a public meeting which – in light of recent events – is disconcertingly relevant.
Musk e Netanyahu
Musk had a livestream meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. AND the discussion turned to the possibility that trolls can amplify anti-Semitic hate speech. Then the number one of X said: “The main reason why we are considering paying a small monthly fee to use
The meaning is that registration, however small the amount requested, involves entering credit card details, and would therefore close the doors to bots. Which, let’s remember, are fictitious accounts governed by software (and are the reason for the long back and forth that preceded the acquisition of the then Twitter by Musk himself).
The immediate reaction was negative: thousands of users threatened to leave the social network. But now Elon Musk is back talking about paid X. And it’s more than a hypothesis.
X to pay
The news of paid X stands out directly on the social network’s blog. And, needless to say, she was immediately confirmed by a post (i.e., tweets) by Elon Musk.
In a note (short, in Musk’s style) published on Tuesday 17 October we read that the operation will be called “Not a bot”. And that has been the case since October 17th itself already operational and being tested in two countries: New Zealand and the Philippines.
“This new test was developed to strengthen our already significant efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform and bot activity. This will be a potentially very effective measure to help us fight bots and spammers on X, balancing the accessibility of the platform with the small amount of the fee. As part of this test, other current users are not affected.”
Paid X: the two steps
Again from the note, we discover that the paid X test phase will be divided into two steps.
In the first, every new user of the platform who resides in New Zealand and the Philippines will have to verify their phone number (it is not specified how).
After that, it will be necessary to pay the symbolic sum of one euro per year, to be able to “perform certain actions on the web version of the platform: publish content, like posts, reply, republish and quote posts from other accounts, add bookmarked post.”
New users who do not pay the amount will be able to perform read-only and account consultation actions.
According to Musk,
The EU and the survey on X
Who knows whether the idea of paid X, by undermining the bot phenomenon, may also be able to stem the increasingly urgent problem of fake news.
Musk’s social network has in fact been reported by the EU as the largest spreader of unverified news. And in recent days the European Union, after an informal letter sent to company leaders by the commissioner for the single market Thierry Breton, opened an investigation against the former Twitter for misinformation on the war between Israel and Hamas.
This is why we said that the streaming meeting with Netanyahu appears today in all its dramatic relevance: among the fake content, alleged Hamas attacks against Israel were also published on X, however taken from a realistic video game.
The risk for the company is a fine of up to 6% of the turnover, and the risk of not being able to operate in Europe.
X fined in Australia
And as if that wasn’t enough The eSafety Commissioner, the Australian Internet safety watchdog, fined X 610,500 Australian dollars (corresponding to approximately 366,000 euros).
The reason? Not having adopted sufficient measures to combat the spread of child pornography content on the platform.