X Charges New Users $1 To Combat Spam Bots, Making It “1000X Harder To Manipulate Platform” 

Elon Musk is ramping up the fight against bots on X as a way to stop ‘manipulation on the free-speech platform.’ X will begin charging new users in New Zealand and the Philippines $1 per year to post or interact with other users on the platform, a move Musk says “will be 1000X harder to manipulate the platform.” 

X account “Support” provided more details of the subscription called “Not A Bot” program: 

Starting today, we’re testing a new program (Not A Bot) in New Zealand and the Philippines. New, unverified accounts will be required to sign up for a $1 annual subscription to be able to post & interact with other posts. Within this test, existing users are not affected.

 This new test was developed to bolster our already successful efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform and bot activity, while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount. It is not a profit driver.

And so far, subscription options have proven to be the main solution that works at scale.

On X’s website, in the Help Center section, additional details revealed new accounts that want posting privileges in those two countries must complete a two-step verification process:

Step One: Phone Verification

  • New accounts created on X, in these two countries, will first be required to verify their phone number.

Step Two: Select Your Subscription Plan

  • $1 USD Annual Fee (prices vary by country and currency). New users will be able to perform certain actions on the web version of the platform: post content, Like posts, Reply, Repost and Quote other accounts’ posts, Bookmark posts.

“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,” X Support said. 

X nor Musk explained why the new program is being rolled out in the two countries. It could be X has realized these countries have the highest amount of fake accounts. 

Not A Bot is in addition to X’s subscription of $8 per month. And there is no word if X plans on expanding the new charge to other countries. 

During a recent live-streamed chat with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk floated the idea of charging users on the X, noting, “It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots.” 


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