Elon Musk is planning to charge new X users a small fee to enable posting on the social network and to curb the bot problem.

In reply to an X account that posted about changes on X’s website, Musk said charging a small fee to new accounts was the “only way” to stop the “onslaught of bots”

“Current AI (and troll farms) can pass “are you a bot” with ease,” Musk said, referring to tools like CAPTCHA.

As is the case with a lot of announcements related to the social platform, there are no details at the moment about when this policy will be applicable and what fees new users might have to pay.

Last October, X started charging new unverified users $1 per year in New Zealand and the Philippines. New free users signing up for the platform from these regions could read the posts but couldn’t interact with them. To post content, like, repost, reply, bookmark, and quote posts, they had to pay a fee. Musk might apply a fee similar to other regions.

Earlier this month, X said that the platform was starting a major purge of spam accounts, warning users that their follower count might be affected. However, with a plan to charge new users, the social media company seemingly aims to tackle the bot problem better.

While Musk has talked about battling AI bots, last year, X updated its policy to include a clause that public posts could be used to train machine learning algorithms or artificial intelligence models. Separately, in July 2023, Musk said that his AI company xAI would use public posts to train models.

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Earlier this month, xAI made its Grok chatbot available to Premium users of X, who pay $8 per month. The chatbot was previously available to users paying $16 per month for the Premium+ tier. Last week, Fortune reported that X plans to make Grok available to users to compose posts.



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