Elon Musk's Decision To Charge $1 For New X Accounts Will Put A 'Massive Dent' To Abuse, Security Researcher Says

Zinger Key Points
  • Elon Musk’s X is testing a new $1 fee to unlock the ability to post, like, and share content on the social platform.
  • The new test is aimed at reducing platform abuse and manipulation on X.

Elon Musk's decision to charge a $1 annual fee for new accounts on X (formerly Twitter) could actually be able to combat the massive problem of platform abuse and bots, according to security researcher Troy Hunt.

What Happened: Musk's X announced that new accounts will be charged an annual fee of $1 if they want more than just "read-only" access. The nominal $1 fee will unlock the ability to post, X announced earlier today.

See Also: Just Joining Elon Musk’s X? You Will Now Have To Shell Out $1 For Proper Access If You Live In These Two Countries

While this might seem controversial and quite contrary to the idea of increasing the number of active users on X, Hunt believes it can put a "massive dent" into the problem of abuse and bots.

"I’ve no doubt based on my own experiences that it’ll put a massive dent in abuse originating from those markets," Hunt said. He is the founder of the popular data breach tracking service, Have I Been Pwned.

The idea behind charging $1 is not to make money, and X said just as much in its announcement post. The idea here is to ensure the people creating and running these accounts are real people with credit card information linked to them.

This makes it easier to identify the people indulging in abuse and manipulation on X, since their accounts will no longer be anonymous and can be linked back to them directly thanks to the payment information.

"The reason wasn’t that there was no longer a return on investment (ROI) for abusers, rather it was because you had to stump up a credit card that could be traced back to you," Hunt added.

Why It Matters: X has been a target of manipulation via platform abuse and bots for a long time now. The new "Not A Bot" program that is currently being piloted in two countries – New Zealand and the Philippines – is the latest in line with multiple attempts by the company to cull down the manipulation.

With the year 2024 being a crucial one with elections in multiple countries worldwide, reducing platform abuse and manipulation could prove helpful. However, with 2024 just two months away now, it's unclear if this will be enough or too little and too late.

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