Elon Musk is planning a fee for new users of Platform X, formerly Twitter, to stem the flood of fake and bot accounts.

Elon Musk has revealed plans that suggest new users will have to pay to post and interact on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter. According to the British newspaper The Independent, Musk believes that only by introducing a “small fee” can the platform be prevented from being flooded with fake and bot accounts.

Elon Musk has expressed concerns that current AI technologies and “troll farms” can create bots that are not recognized as such. “Troll farms” are organizations that operate large numbers of accounts or bots. These are used to manipulate opinions or spread misinformation on social media. You can easily answer the question “Are you a bot?” To combat this, he suggests charging new users a small fee for the right to write. According to Musk, this would also help unlock more good usernames. Many of these names are currently occupied by fake accounts. Musk explains that the mass of fake accounts is using up available usernames.

In the past, Musk told the Independent that this test may now be carried out on a broader basis.

Combating fake and bot accounts was one of Musk’s priorities when he took over management of the platform in late 2022. However, many users are reporting an increase in spam content, in part due to Musk’s massive staff cuts, including the content moderation team.

Since Musk’s takeover, the platform has seen a significant decline in revenue as advertisers expressed concerns about Musk’s belief in “absolute freedom of expression” and his tolerance for more controversial content. That has led the company to turn to new revenue streams, including subscription options like X Premium.