Elon Musk says X may go behind a paywall for everyone so he can 'combat vast armies of bots'

Elon Musk says X may go behind a paywall for everyone so he can 'combat vast armies of bots'
Elon Musk.Theo Wargo/WireImage via Getty Images
  • Elon Musk said X, formerly Twitter, might be rolling out a paywall to all its users.
  • Musk said the move would be critical to help deal with bots on the platform.

Elon Musk said X, his social-media platform previously known as Twitter, might be introducing a paywall for all users.

"The single most important reason that we are moving to having a small monthly payment for the use of the X system, is it is the only way I could think of to combat vast armies of bots," Musk said during a livestream on X with Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Monday.

Musk told Netanyahu that having a payment system and prioritizing premium users' posts would help minimize the influence of bots.

Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More

"Because a bot costs a fraction of a penny, call it a tenth of a penny, but even if it has to pay a few dollars or something, some minor amount, the effective cost of bots is very high," Musk said.

Musk said he believed the paywall would be critical if X was to deal with bots on the platform.


"We are actually going to come up with a lower-tier pricing. We want it to be just a small amount of money," Musk said. "It's a longer discussion, but this is actually the only defense against armies of bots."

This isn't the first time the billionaire has considered having a paywall for all X users.

Musk had discussed the idea with one of his advisors, the venture capitalist David Sacks, last year, the tech newsletter Platformer reported.

Musk has introduced a flurry of changes to the platform since he bought it in October 2022.

Besides renaming Twitter to X, Musk replaced the platform's legacy verification program — the blue ticks that verified the authenticity of famous personalities — with the Twitter Blue subscription program in April.


The changes are part of Musk's attempts to put the platform on a path toward profitability. In July, the billionaire said in an X post that the company was in a difficult financial position.

"We're still negative cash flow, due to ~50% drop in advertising revenue plus heavy debt load," Musk said in his July post. "Need to reach positive cash flow before we have the luxury of anything else."

Representatives for X did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.