Elon Musk has owned Twitter since last week – and wants to turn the shop upside down there. In the debate about a possibly fee-based verification, however, he did himself no favors.

He’s busy. Ever since Elon Musk marched into Twitter headquarters with a sink last week, the new owner has been giving his short message service headline after headline. In particular, his idea of ​​making verification subject to a fee was not well received. The fact that he wanted to negotiate with star author Stephen King of all people made Musk look less confident.

“$20 a month to keep my blue hooks? Fuck it, they should pay me,” the world-renowned horror author tweeted yesterday. With the blue tick, Twitter notes the authenticity of prominent accounts. And shortly before King’s tweet, it was announced that Musk would soon be collecting a fee from his famous users for this.

Embarrassing haggling

King has been a busy user of Twitter for a long time. He regularly praises books, series or films that he liked. Or eloquently makes his political views clear – especially favorite opponent Donald Trump knows how to sing a song about it. But he doesn’t want to pay any money for the confirmed authenticity of his account – on the contrary. “If it’s enforced like that, I’ll be gone like Enron,” he threatens his exit, referring to the energy company that has gone bankrupt.

Even if such a threat can be considered childish, Musk’s reaction to it seems even more embarrassing. “We have to pay our bills somehow! Twitter can’t finance itself with advertising alone”; he tries to justify the consideration in a reply tweet. And then starts haggling over the price: “Would $8 be better?”

It’s about the principle

A while later, he seemed to have noticed that King, who is estimated to be worth almost $ 500 million, might not have been about silly amounts. “I will explain the idea in more detail before it is implemented,” Musk added in a subsequent tweet. “It’s the only way to defeat bots and trolls.”

King had already made it clear to two other users that he was not concerned with the money. Pointing out that he could certainly afford it, he answered two users word for word: “It’s not about the money, it’s a question of principle.”

The reactions were divided. While some users share King’s allegation and find Musk’s attempt at haggling embarrassing, the openly liberal King is also being targeted for the tweet from across the political spectrum.

However, the two prominent brawlers don’t seem to want to put any more energy into the discussion. While Musk preferred to post photos from his Halloween party, King again targeted his favorite target. Because Donald Trump is still blocked from Twitter under Musk, he is now following him on his own network Truth Social, King told his followers. And devoted more tweets to his amusement at the ex-president’s spelling mistakes than to the debate with Musk.

What: Twitter