Elon Musk, alone against a black background, pressing his fingertips together and looking at the camera, displeased.

X (Twitter) Already Requiring New Users To Pay a Fee

In an unsurprising move, Elon Musk has decided that new users must pay a fee to use X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. If you don’t, you won’t be able to do literally anything on the app.

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At present, the new policy will only affect new users in New Zealand and the Philippines. According to Fortune, the payment—NZ$1.43 and 42.51 Philippine pesos, or the equivalent of $1 a year—is required after verifying your phone number and allows those who sign up for an account to post, repost, like, bookmark posts, and reply to others. The only free features for those individuals would be scrolling and following accounts.

Evil Elon calls this idea “Not a Bot,” and claims that it will help combat actual bots, which is a load of bullshit considering I’ve seen a rise in bots in my mentions over the past few weeks. Responding to the Fortune article, X released the following statement:

This new test was developed to bolster our already significant efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform and bot activity. This will evaluate a potentially powerful measure to help us combat bots and spammers on X, while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount. Within this test, existing users are not affected.

This new program aims to defend against bots and spammers who attempt to manipulate the platform and disrupt the experience of other X users. We look forward to sharing more about the results soon.

According to The Guardian, Musk teased the idea last month while talking with Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and said that bots cost “a fraction of a penny” to set up and that “a few dollars or something” could put them off from creating an account.

“Plus, every time a bot creator wanted to make another bot, they would need another new payment method,” Musk said.

This whole thing shouldn’t come as a shock considering Musk makes people pay $11 to have a blue check by their name despite not having any public significance whatsoever, along with other features—like absurdly removing headlines from article links in posts—that just make it increasingly difficult to use the social media platform.

(featured image: Chesnot / Getty Images)

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Brooke Pollock
Brooke Pollock is a UK-based entertainment journalist who talks incessantly about her thoughts on pop culture. She can often be found with her headphones on listening to an array of music, scrolling through social media, at the cinema with a large popcorn, or laying in bed as she binges the latest TV releases. She has almost a year of experience and her core beat is digital culture.