Elon Musk, during a dialogue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, unveiled plans to introduce a “small monthly payment system” for users of the social platform X, previously Twitter. This initiative aims to curtail the “vast armies of bots” that have plagued the platform. Musk sees this fee as a more effective strategy than traditional methods like CAPTCHA, especially as artificial intelligence advancements can outsmart such safeguards.
Highlighting X’s metrics, Musk revealed that the platform now boasts 550 million monthly users, producing between 100 to 200 million posts daily. These numbers stand out, especially when compared to Twitter’s pre-takeover figure of 229 million “average monetizable daily active usage” reported in May 2022. However, Musk didn’t break down how many of these users are legitimate as opposed to bots.
Amidst these changes, Musk’s management has come under scrutiny for perceived toleration of hate speech, including antisemitism. Criticisms from civil rights groups and organizations like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have been pointed. Musk has openly challenged the ADL and even accused it of harming X’s revenues, though no official lawsuit has been documented.
Prime Minister Netanyahu urged Musk to address the rise in antisemitism on X. Musk emphasized his belief in free speech but recognized the platform’s responsibility to offer a positive experience for users. He noted, “People will not want to use our system if they find it to be unpleasant.” Netanyahu’s suggestion to curtail bot usage met with Musk’s agreement.
Post the acquisition of Twitter, which cost around $44 billion, Musk executed extensive staff reductions and revamped the platform. He now juggles multiple roles, including X’s executive chairman and CTO, Tesla’s CEO, and SpaceX’s CEO. His vision for X appears geared toward creating a safer environment while maintaining user engagement and countering challenges like dwindling ad revenue and bot infiltration.