Certain indicators on X, including comments from Elon Musk, suggested on Monday that the company will begin charging new users a small fee in order to post, reply, “like” others’ posts, and bookmark posts. The changes, if they occur, will be made to stop bot accounts.

“Unfortunately, a small fee for new user write access is the only way to curb the relentless onslaught of bots,” Musk said. “Current AI (and troll farms) can pass “are you a bot” with ease.”

He added in a follow-up post that fake accounts steal many names that real humans might want to use for their accounts, “us[ing] up the available namespace.”

An account that tracks changes to the X website, “X Updates Radar,” discovered that X had introduced language about new accounts needing to “pay a small annual fee before you’re able to post, like, bookmark, and reply,” explaining that it was a measure to reduce spam.

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According to QZ, X has previously tried a similar policy in the Philippines and New Zealand. Earlier in April, Musk had announced a “system purge” to remove bots, pornographic content, and trolls from the app. The scope and success of this purge campaign is currently unknown.

Shane Devine is a writer covering politics and business for VT and a regular guest on The Unusual Suspects. Follow Shane’s work here.

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