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Elon Musk’s X is experimenting with charging an annual payment for unverified accounts

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New York
CNN
 — 

After Elon Musk hinted final month that X may begin charging all customers, the corporate (previously generally known as Twitter) introduced a take a look at of such a system.

X mentioned in a submit on Tuesday that it’s testing a brand new program known as “Not a Bot” by which new customers in New Zealand and the Philippines will probably be required to join a $1 annual subscription to submit and work together with different posts.

The take a look at will apply solely to new internet accounts, and the payment will probably be waived if customers join X’s $3.99 monthly premium subscription service. New customers within the testing area who decide out of premium and the annual subscription will solely be capable of learn posts, watch movies and comply with accounts — however not work together on the platform. Existing customers won’t be affected as a part of the take a look at.

The firm mentioned within the submit that this system is supposed to “bolster our already successful efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform and bot activity, while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount,” including that the payment is just not meant to be a revenue driver.

The take a look at comes after Musk has inspired customers to join X Premium as a method of lowering spam and rip-off exercise on the platform, suggesting that requiring bank card funds helps confirm a consumer’s identification and creates a better barrier to entry for inauthentic accounts. As an added incentive, premium customers obtain a blue checkmark, have their posts boosted by the platform’s algorithm and are eligible to obtain funds as a part of X’s new advert income share program.

It additionally comes after Musk made a imprecise assertion in a dialog with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu final month suggesting he may begin charging all customers. He mentioned the corporate is “moving to have a small monthly payment for use of the X system” as a result of it’s “the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots.”

Experts, nevertheless, have mentioned that many unhealthy actors are greater than keen and capable of pay up for inauthentic accounts on the platform. In concept, an individual may additionally pay to confirm an account after which enable a pc to run it, thus successfully creating an automatic (or “bot”) verified account.

X has come below hearth prior to now week over false and deceptive claims which were extensively shared on the platform associated to the Israel-Hamas struggle. The European Commission final week formally opened an investigation into X after a earlier warning about disinformation and unlawful content material on its platform linked to the battle.

X says it has eliminated “hundreds of Hamas-affiliated accounts,” taken down 1000’s of posts because the assault on Israel by Hamas and ramped up Community Notes, its program that permits customers to reality test different customers’ posts. “X is… addressing identified fake and manipulated content during this constantly evolving and shifting crisis,” X CEO Linda Yaccarino mentioned in a letter to EU Commissioner Thiery Breton final week.

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