Elon Musk has suggested that X, formerly known as Twitter, may begin charging all users “a small monthly fee” to access the platform.
In the live-streamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, the X owner said creating a paywall is the only way to “combat the vast armies of bots”.
“We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system,” the SpaceX and Tesla boss told Mr Netanyahu.
“It’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots.
“A bot costs a fraction of a penny. But if somebody even has to pay a few dollars or something, some minor amount, the effective cost to bots is very high.”
Musk, who is the world’s richest person, did not indicate how much a monthly subscription would cost or when the fee would be implemented.
The platform’s current subscription program X Blue costs AUD $19 per month for android access.
Musk told the Israeli leader said there are 550 million monthly active X users who generate between 100 million and 200 million daily posts.
Last month, the self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” announced his social media platform would foot the legal bills of anyone who has been punished at work for posting on X or Twitter.
“If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill,” the billionaire business magnate wrote.
“No limit. Please let us know.”
Twitter, which rebranded itself as “X” last month, has been surrounded in controversy since the 51-year-old who was then the world’s richest man purchased it for US$44 billion in October last year.
Musk who had previously criticised the platform’s content moderation rules, pledged when announcing the takeover to strengthen free speech on the site.