Elon Musk has said he will charge people to use X because it is the ‘only way to protect against bot accounts’.
The billionaire owner of the platform – formerly known as X – says users will face a ‘small monthly payment’.
‘I’d say the single most important reason we’re moving towards having a small monthly payment for use of the X system is that it’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots,’ Musk said in a livestreamed conversation with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
‘A bot costs a fraction of a penny, but if somebody has to pay a few dollars or something… you have to get a new payment method every time you have a new bot.
‘Prioritizing posts that are written by X premium subscribers, we’re actually going to come up with a lower tier pricing. We want it to be a small amount of money.
‘It’s a longer discussion, but in my view this is the only defense against vast armies of bots. As the AI gets really good it’s getting better at passing the captcha tests than humans.’
Elon Musk revealed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he plans to start charging users on X, previously known as Twitter
A huge crowd of protesters gathered in San Francisco’s Union Square close to where Musk and Netanyahu were meeting on Monday to demonstrate their opposition to his domestic reforms
The meeting between Musk and Netanyahu in Silicon Valley, California, also saw the Tesla owner refuse to discuss the issue of anti-Semitism on X when Netanyahu broached the subject.
It comes amid escalating tensions between Musk and the Anti-Defamation League, which has accused him of being anti-Semitic, and mass protests in Israel over judicial reforms.
But Musk swerved the topic of anti-Semitism other than saying he is ‘obviously against’ it, and spoke more generally about ‘hate speech’ instead.
Netanyahu previously came to Musk’s defense when he was accused of repeating discriminatory tropes about Jewish financier George Soros, and he introduced the subject by reiterating his belief that the Tesla boss does not have anti-Jewish views.
‘I know of your opposition to anti-Semitism,’ the 73-year-old Israeli leader told Musk during their X discussion.
‘All I can say is I hope you can find within the confines of the First Amendment the ability to stop not only antisemitism or roll it back as best you can, but any collective hatred of a people that anti-Semitism represents.’
‘Obviously I’m against anti-Semitism,’ Musk replied. ‘I’m anti really anything that promotes hate and conflict, and I’m in favor that which helps society and takes us to a better future for humanity collectively.’
But the SpaceX boss didn’t elaborate or defend his controversial statements about Soros, including comparing him to X-Men supervillain Magneto – a character who manipulates the world and thinks mutants should be in charge rather than humans.
Speaking about hate speech generally on X, he said: ‘It’s important to bear in mind that there are 550 million monthly users, now maybe going to 600 million monthly users.
‘On any given day there’s on the order of 100 to 200 million posts to the system. This is a lot of material. Some of those are going to be bad.
‘You can’t police it in advance, but you can say after the fact ‘oh it’s getting reported as hate speech’.
‘We’re not going to promote speech because that’s probably not what people want to hear.’
Netanyahu (pictured) has previously come to Musk’s defense after he was accused of repeating discriminatory tropes about Jewish financier George Soros, despite an outcry in Israel
The SpaceX founder’s anti-Semitism woes began when he compared Soros, 92, to X-Men supervillain Magneto – a character who manipulates the world and thinks mutants should be in charge rather than humans
Netanyahu is embroiled in his own domestic controversy over his move to radically revamp the country’s judicial system, which opponents say will push the country toward authoritarian rule.
The Israeli PM wants to curtail the authority of the Supreme Court and give politicians greater powers over the selection of judges.
A huge crowd of protesters gathered in San Francisco’s Union Square close to where Musk and Netanyahu were meeting on Monday to demonstrate their opposition to his reforms – and to Musk giving him a platform.
Musk asked Netanyahu about his reforms during their X conversation, admitting he ‘got the most negative pushback from people at Tesla about this interview that anything else I’ve ever done’.
Netanyahu dismissed activists who were against his reforms, claiming ‘many of them don’t know what they’re protesting about’ adding that ‘there’s a concerted effort to make sure they don’t know’.
Netanyahu is also embroiled in his own domestic controversy over his move to radically revamp the country’s judicial system, which opponents say will push the country toward authoritarian rule
Musk asked Netanyahu about his reforms during their X conversation, admitting he ‘got the most negative pushback from people at Tesla about this interview that anything else I’ve ever done’ as people protested the policies in Union Square, SF (pictured)
Thousands of protesters poured onto the streets of Tel Aviv in June to stand against Netanyahu and his nationalist coalition government’s judicial overhaul
‘The way you rule and the way you balance democracy, majority rule and individual rights, is a balance between the three branches of government,’ he said.
‘In Israel that balance 30 years ago began to change. And we have the most activist judicial court on the planet… so it steadily arrogated to itself the powers of the executive and the legislature where it basically decides.
‘Democracy is supposed to be checks and balances of the three branches on each other.
‘In Israel the judiciary has no checks and no balances, it just has power, and so there is a request to try to bring it back into line, and that has been sort of boiling all the time.’