In a bold move to curb the proliferation of spam, social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, has embarked on a trial that imposes charges on basic user functionalities for newcomers in New Zealand and the Philippines. This initiative, dubbed “Not A Bot,” mandates an annual fee enabling new users to post messages, interact with, and save content. The step directly responds to issues raised by tech mogul Elon Musk, the current platform owner, who has been vocal about his disdain for spam accounts and bots that mar the user experience.
X’s strategy, outlined in details shared on its website and through its posts, is aimed at fortifying its defences against automated accounts that often skew digital discourse. By imposing a financial barrier, the platform is leveraging economic deterrence to thwart spam rather than seeking a new revenue stream. According to the platform’s internal communication, preventive measures like these subscriptions have been the only large-scale remedy against such digital manipulation.
Pricing Model Details and User Implications
The financial specifics of the “Not A Bot” program are set at approximately $0.75 annually for users in the Philippines and $0.85 for users in New Zealand. While this move marks a significant departure from X’s previously free-access model, it is designed to affect new users only. Existing users will continue to enjoy their current access without incurring extra charges.
The platform’s shift has been met with global scrutiny, especially considering Musk’s assertion in June that the platform had successfully eliminated 90 per cent of bot activity. Those opting out of the subscription will still have ‘read-only’ access, limiting their engagement to viewing content without direct interaction. This tiered access approach underlines X’s commitment to cleansing its digital space, even at the risk of alienating potential new users.