As someone Elon has paid to use Twitter ($139.54 last month;), I’d like to point out my hypocrisy before I pen this hot piece on Elon’s latest terrible fucking Idea.
He plans on making EVERYONE on Twitter pay to use the platform. Not just 690,000 BLUE subs.
Musk brought up the idea of charging all users of X/Twitter during a wide-ranging conversation focused on AI that featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. “We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” Musk told Netanyahu, claiming that “it’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots.” His comments were initially reported by Bloomberg’s Dave Lee.
Musk didn’t mention timing of his plan to charge X/Twitter users, nor did he say exactly how much it would cost other than to say a monthly fee of “a few dollars or something” would deter the creation of bot accounts. According to Musk, X has 550 million monthly active users, who share 100 million-200 million posts daily on the social network.
Here’s the thing: Everything else is GRAVY for Elon, where his purchase of Twitter/X is concerned. He bought Twitter for one reason: To give nation-states who help him/Tesla a platform to fuck over anyone who dares question the reality Elon and those Nations States want you to experience. And he used their money. Like I said, it’s all gravy. Including whatever money he can force you to give him.
Yesterday’s live stream with Autocratic Israeli Leader Netanhayu was nothing but a mutual blow job between two assholes with common interests: Fucking over your objective reality on behalf of dictatorial states that house the same Ideology Elon has OR hold significant interest in Elon’s business ventures.
Elon told Netanyahu that charging everyone would be the only way to combat Twitter’s bot issue. If you’re counting, this is the 6th bot pivot in less than a year. It’s an old favorite from his excuse playlist to add more bots by loosening regulations and shuttering entire departments responsible for bots and your UX. Among others, Musk torched the Twitter Safety Department (he also gassed the child exploitation, P.R., and Sales teams) 5 minutes after showing up at Twitter H.Q. with a sink. Not the actions of a dude interested in safeguarding society, crushing bots, or promoting brand safety. So, he’s going to charge EVERYONE with a Twitter account to use Twitter because he fucked himself. How very “big government” of him, passing on the tax of his failure to the people he failed.
Full transparency – we pay for our premium sub. We operate a media company and drive a ton of traffic from Twitter, which works for us. We’re not talking about the platform; we’re talking about the idiot who owns the medium and his intention.
What is his intention? Ask the former head of safety at Twitter, Dr. Yoel Roth, who went into hiding last year after Elon sent the bots (he says he’s trying to get rid of) after Yoel Roth. Death Threats, drive-bys, and doxxing forced Yoel and his family into the woods with some canned goods because Elon doesn’t want a platform. He wants a weapon, and now he wants you to pay for it:
Mediaite:Yoel Roth, former head of trust and safety at Twitter, wrote a guest essay for the New York Times that was published Monday and offered a stark warning as to the future of social media as guardrails are taken down.
Roth initially stayed on at Twitter after Elon Musk took over, but eventually left the company as Musk gutted his division and stirred controversy with both his personal behavior and leadership of the company.
In the Times, Roth laid out how as a result of his time at Twitter he had become the target of a campaign of harassment, promoted by both Donald Trump and Musk:
“Backed by fans on social media, Mr. Trump publicly attacked me. Two years later, following his acquisition of Twitter and after I resigned my role as the company’s head of trust and safety, Elon Musk added fuel to the fire. I’ve lived with armed guards outside my home and have had to upend my family, go into hiding for months and repeatedly move.
This isn’t a story I relish revisiting. But I’ve learned that what happened to me wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t just personal vindictiveness or “cancel culture.” It was a strategy — one that affects not just targeted individuals like me, but all of us, as it is rapidly changing what we see online.”
Roth recalled how he led the team that first added a fact check to a Trump tweet and the resulting attention and harassment he received after a Trump official made him a public figure. “On May 27, the morning after the label went up, the White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway publicly identified me as the head of Twitter’s site integrity team. The next day, The New York Post put several of my tweets making fun of Mr. Trump and other Republicans on its cover,” Roth wrote of the incident.
“Legions of Twitter users, most of whom days prior had no idea who I was or what my job entailed, began a campaign of online harassment that lasted months, calling for me to be fired, jailed, or killed,” he added. Fast forward a few years later “Mr. Musk went further by taking a paragraph of my Ph.D. dissertation out of context to baselessly claim that I condoned pedophilia — a conspiracy trope commonly used by far-right extremists and QAnon adherents to smear L.G.B.T.Q. people,” Roth wrote, adding:
“The response was even more extreme than I experienced after Mr. Trump’s tweet about me. “You need to swing from an old oak tree for the treason you have committed. Live in fear every day,” said one of thousands of threatening tweets and emails.”
Roth’s lengthy essay recalls the threats and harassment against him as a way of shoring up his claim that social media is becoming untethered to both moral leadership and regulation. The central premise of his argument is that Twitter, and other platforms, are under attack from forces that wish to weaponize them to spew hate and division while recruiting for authoritarian causes.
Remember when Elon removed EVERYONE from the banned/blocked list? China? Russia? @IHateJews69? Trump? Yeah. That’s a sign.
Remember when he started selling Blue memberships to Bots? Another sign.
Remember when he nuked the accounts of reporters like Matt Binder, who dared to point out the fact he took $20 Million from the Saudis to purchase Twitter (The Saudis) who now enjoy a steady stream of EXCELLENT PR on Twitter (Search “Khashoggi” on Twitter…)? Sign.
If Elon charges you, whatever he charges you isn’t because “BOTS!” He simply can. And there’s nothing Elon likes more than inserting his will into your pocket to make you pay for an illusion like self-driving cars.
And a platform that works.
— Amber Mac (@ambermac) September 19, 2023
It’s a sick magic show.
Dean Blundell is a Canadian radio personality. Best known as a longtime morning host on CFNY-FM (The Edge) in Toronto, Ontario. In 2015 he was named the new morning host on sports radio station CJCL (Sportsnet 590 The Fan). Dean started his career in radio in 2001 and for nearly 20 years been entertaining the radio audience. Dean’s newest venture is the launch of his site and podcast which is gaining tremendous momentum across North America.