X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, has announced a new subscription method for new users in two countries. The move comes as X increases efforts to battle scam bots and spar with spam. The company also needs to increase revenue at the same time.
On October 17, X announced that it had started testing the new subscription scheme called “Not A Bot.”
X (Twitter) Spam Bot Battle Continues
The new test was developed to “bolster our already significant efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform, and bot activity,” the firm stated.
New Zealand and the Philippines are the two unlucky nations where users will be hit with a $1 charge for opening a new account.
Existing users of the micro-blogging platform are not affected. The system will be used to ascertain whether charging a small fee reduces the number of spam and bot accounts.
“This new program aims to defend against bots and spammers who attempt to manipulate the platform and disrupt the experience of other X users.”
Moreover, new X accounts in those two countries will be required to verify their phone number. Those who pay the subscription fee will be able to post content and like posts.
They can also reply, retweet, quote other accounts’ posts, and bookmark posts. Users who opt out of paying will get read-only access to the platform.
There was quite a reaction from the crypto community, which relies heavily on X. Blockchain sleuth ZachXBT said,
“Most of the bot accounts nowadays already paid for a checkmark though.”
ChainLinkGod concurred, adding
“The bot spam on the platform has gotten significantly worse, and they’re all verified accounts.”
CryptoQuant co-founder Ki Young Ju added:
“In the crypto industry, $1 paywall is not sufficient, as shitcoin spammers can generate significantly higher profits from their scams.”
Flagging Spam Doesn’t Work
Meanwhile, white hat ‘banteg’ said:
“Twitter now shows notifications about receiving reports from you and they explain why spam reports don’t work at all.”
Spam gets labeled as ‘sensitive content’ by the platform, so no action is taken when a user reports it, he added.
Other users pointed out that bots and scammers use VPNs and obfuscate their locations, so charging by region is pointless.
Since owner Elon Musk implemented the X premium paid blue badge verification product in November, the deluge of bots and spammers has increased. He has also suggested implementing ID verification or a form of KYC.
It is unlikely that this latest effort will deter spammers and bots but it may have that effect on new users.
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