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Elon Musk says new X users have to pay to tweet

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses Elon Musk's plan to charge a small fee for new users to post on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) in order to curb the influx of bot accounts. It also covers the platform's ongoing struggles with spam and hate speech, leading to a loss of advertising revenue.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] New User Fees

1. What is Elon Musk's plan for new users on X?

  • Elon Musk announced that new users on X will have to pay a small fee to be able to tweet, post, like, bookmark, or reply to other tweets.
  • This is an attempt to curb the "relentless onslaught of bots" on the platform, as Musk claims current AI can easily bypass "are you a bot" checks.
  • New users will still be able to follow other accounts and browse the platform for free without paying the fee.

2. How did this new policy come about?

  • The change in policy was first flagged by an automated account tracking changes to X's website, before being confirmed by Musk.
  • X had previously experimented with charging a $1 annual subscription fee for users in the Philippines and New Zealand to post and interact on the platform.

[02] Spam and Hate Speech Issues

1. What challenges has X faced with spam and hate speech?

  • X has struggled to limit the flood of spam accounts that link to pornographic content and fake products on the platform.
  • Dozens of advertisers, including major companies like Comcast, Apple, and Disney, pulled their spending on X last November after their ads were appearing next to pro-Nazi content and hate speech.
  • This led to X losing $1.5 billion in ad revenue in 2023 due to the advertiser departures.

2. How has Musk responded to these issues?

  • Musk kicked off a "system purge" of bot and troll accounts on the platform, although it's unclear how successful the effort was.
  • Musk had previously declared that X would "defeat the spam bots or die trying" before acquiring the platform for $44 billion in 2022.

[03] Advertising and Financial Challenges

1. What financial challenges has X faced?

  • X has shed at least 71% of its value since Musk acquired it in 2022, according to mutual fund giant Fidelity.
  • The loss of advertising revenue, with $1.5 billion lost in 2023, has been a major financial challenge for the company.

2. How did the DoubleVerify incident impact X?

  • DoubleVerify, a brand-safety measurement firm, incorrectly displayed X's Brand Safety Rate as low as 70% for nearly 5 months.
  • However, X's actual brand safety rates were 99.99%, according to DoubleVerify's correction.
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