During an artificial intelligence discussion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, X owner Elon Musk said the platform could start charging all of its customers.
Musk said Monday the company is “moving toward a small monthly payment” for X users.
“It is the only way I can think of to combat the vast army of bots,” Musk said. “A bot costs a fraction of a penny, but if someone has to pay a few dollars, some minor amount, the effective cost of bots is very high, and you also have to have a new payment method every time you get a new bot. There is a strain to how many credit cards you can have.”
He said he wants X to cost a few dollars a month, which would be a lower price than the company’s X Premium service.
As part of the discussion was on stopping the spread of antisemitism on X, Netanyahu said that while he appreciates Musk’s commitment to free speech, “I hope you find within the confines of the First Amendment to ability to stop not only antisemitism, or roll it back as best you can, but any collective of hatred of the people that antisemitism represents.”
“Obviously I am against antisemitism, I am against anything that promotes hate and conflict, and I am in favor of that in which that helps society and takes us to a better future,” Musk responded.
Netanyahu said that he thinks restricting bots on social media platforms could have an impact on the spread of hate speech.
“If you get a crazy guy, a hateful guy, let him speak for one voice instead of an army of fake millions,” Netanyahu said.
Musk did not address when a small monthly payment would be implemented.
Earlier this year, Musk changed the name of the social media network from Twitter to X.
Currently, X has a premium version of its site, X Premium, launched as Twitter Blue, which charges $8 a month. It includes a blue verification badge, the ability to edit tweets, longer character limits and fewer ads.
The implementation of Twitter Blue was met with some criticism as many prominent users, such as entertainers and journalists, lost their verification badge. Then-named Twitter originally placed blue check marks on accounts belonging to people and organizations prone to be imitated by copycat accounts.
Conversely, Musk has said that bots could still have a premium account if they follow the terms of service and do not impersonate a human.