X Introduces $1 Annual Fee in the Philippines to Combat Bots

Elon Musk’s introduction of a $1 annual fee on X in the Philippines and New Zealand to combat bots has stirred up a whirlwind of mixed emotions among users.

Elon Musk is making waves in the social media world with his latest move. Introducing a $1 annual fee for new users of his social media platform, X. 

This nominal fee unlocks basic features like posting and content sharing, and Musk claims it’s the key to combating automated spam bot accounts. 

READ ALSO: From Tweets To X: Elon Musk’s Bold Rebranding Of The Bird App

Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks with Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, during the Ira C. Eaker Distinguished Speaker Presentation in the Academy's Arnold Hall on April 7, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Elon Musk/Photo by Trevor Cokley via Wikimedia Commons

Battle Bots 

X, previously known as Twitter, initiated a trial run of this new policy called “Not a Bot” in New Zealand and the Philippines. 

New users in these countries are now required to verify their phone numbers. They also need to pay a fee to engage in activities like posting, interacting with others, or bookmarking posts.

Musk, the billionaire behind the initiative, states, “It’s the only way to fight bots without blocking real users. This won’t stop bots completely, but it will be 1000 times harder to manipulate the platform.”

Existing X users can breathe a sigh of relief as this fee only applies to new users. Those who choose not to pay the $1 per year will still be able to read posts, watch videos, and follow other accounts.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk explains the future capabilities of his company’s “Starship” to senior leaders of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Northern Command, and Air Force Space Command, April 15, 2019.
Photo by NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs via Wikimedia Commons


The X social media platform, in a separate post, emphasizes that this new fee isn’t about driving profits. 

They see it as a way to enhance their ongoing efforts to reduce spam, platform manipulation, and bot activity while ensuring accessibility with a modest fee.

Elon Musk’s involvement in X has been marked by several bold moves. This includes rebranding the platform from Twitter to a minimalist black-and-white “X” logo. 

He also adopted a more relaxed approach to content moderation. Musk has recently made headlines by hiding text from news articles and endorsing accounts with controversial reputations, drawing mixed reactions from users.

Photo by Steve Jurvetson via Wikimedia Commons

Mixed Emotions

Despite Musk’s explanations for the fee test, it has sparked skepticism among some X users. 

In a meeting earlier this month, X CEO Linda Yaccarino revealed plans to test a three-tiered subscription service, indicating that more changes may be on the horizon.

Nevertheless, both Musk and Yaccarino have asserted in recent months that the company is on the verge of breaking even. 

Even as X charges its premium subscribers $8 per month for features like “blue checkmark” account verification and the ability to post longer tweets and videos.

Banner photo by Trevor Cokley via Wikimedia Commons.

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