Elon Musk says he will start charging people to use X (Twitter)

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Elon Musk has said he will start charging people to use the social media site formerly known as Twitter.

NBC News reports the billionaire businessman, who renamed the platform to X, revealed on a live stream that the company would introduce a “small monthly payment” to combat “vast armies of bots”.

Musk has long complained about the presence of fake accounts on the platform, and tried to use his concerns to wriggle out of his deal to buy it last year.

He did not offer further details about the new fee, such as a price or whether it would include extra features.

Sky News has contacted X for comment, though its press office is largely unresponsive.

The move would kill off what has long been one of the site’s most popular memes, where users caption shots of particularly striking posts with a near-incredulous “this website is free”.

X already offers a premium subscription costing £9.60 a month, which gives users a verification tick, lets them write longer posts and edit existing ones, and priorities their account in search results.

Musk spoke about the plans in a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where the Tesla and SpaceX owner sought to address criticism over his running of the platform.

Since buying Twitter for $44bn (£38bn), the self-described “free speech absolutist” has been accused of allowing disinformation, racism, misogyny, and antisemitism to thrive.

He has also reinstated previously banned accounts like those of Donald Trump and Andrew Tate.

Last month, the platform was criticised for taking several days to remove posts promoting Holocaust denial, despite being repeatedly highlighted by the Auschwitz Museum.

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