Elon Musk, owner of the social network X, formerly Twitter, is considering charging a “small monthly payment” to all users of the platform. This option is among the possible plans of the businessman, who took over the technology company in October 2022. Since then, the tycoon has resorted to various strategies to make the service profitable, including an eight-dollar monthly subscription for premium access. Musk has argued that his decision aims to combat a “vast army of bots.” This happened on Monday during a remote conversation he had with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, who is on a work trip to California. He has called on him to stop the proliferation of anti-Semitism on the platform, which has grown since Musk has been at the helm of the company.
According to Musk, between 100 and 200 million messages are published on the platform every day. “Some of those will be bad,” said the businessman, who assured in the talk with Netanyahu that X’s policy is not to promote or amplify hate speech. During the talk, broadcast by streaming, Musk assured that X now has about 550 million “monthly users.” He did not explain how many of these are authentic or are bots. In May 2022, Twitter said it had about 229 million daily active accounts.
Musk’s arrival on the social network has also meant the return of many suspended users and comments that had been banned. Some of them have also opted for a monthly subscription to receive even more attention. In accordance with Mashable, the social network had about 650,000 users registered in this service until April. The owner of Tesla and Space X said last fall that his goal was to take care of the public square that Twitter represented and ensure freedom of expression.
Netanyahu, who is himself a symbol for the American right, has invited Musk to find a balance between allowing freedom of expression without this leading to an increase in anti-Semitic messages on X. “It is urgent that you find a balance, although It is difficult,” commented the prime minister, who is doing a working tour focused on the San Francisco Bay, the birthplace of many technological and businesses focused on artificial intelligence.
The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil liberties organization, has accused Musk of giving a megaphone to members of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements. The director of the group, Jonathan Greenblatt, assures that the millionaire has amplified messages of this ideology by interacting with some users on his account, followed by 157 million people. Musk, on the other hand, blamed the League for the decline in advertising on the social network and for wanting to “kill its platform.” The company has 60% fewer advertisers since it bought the company.
In the talk, Netanyahu warned about the need to guide artificial intelligence to adopt a code of ethics or conduct that can stop the advance of hate speech. In his opinion, it will be necessary to have surveillance elements that denounce the use of these expressions by people or States.
Both Musk and Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of
This Sunday, however, Musk sparked another controversy by stating online that the organization by Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros “He seems to want nothing more than to destroy Western civilization.” In his message, Musk criticized a philanthropic organization that has donated billions of dollars, and that is a target of the international right-wing sectors. Many of these attacks are anti-Semitic, since Soros, 93, is Jewish.
Netanyahu’s presence in California sparked demonstrations at the Tesla factory in Fremont. Dozens of people came to protest against the reform that the ultraconservative Government intends to carry out to weaken the Supreme Court. From the West, the premier will travel to New York, where this Wednesday he will participate in the annual Assembly of the United Nations Organization. He is also expected to meet briefly with President Joe Biden.