‘They have to pay me’: Stephen King vs. Elon Musk’s plans for a Twitter fee

Billionaire Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter doesn’t disappoint at all in terms of news, rumors, and sometimes weird stories that we can expect when the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX (and now the social network) is involved.

One of the persistent rumors, which is already proving to be true, is that under Musk, Twitter will start charging those users who have a blue badge, guaranteeing that they are who they say they are.

Confirmation of such plans came from Musk himself, but in the most unexpected place – as a response to an outraged comment from horror writer Stephen King.

“$20 to keep my blue badge? Fuck it, they (Twitter) have to pay me,” King wrote, warning that if such a fee were implemented, he would leave the social network.

“We have to pay the bills somehow! Twitter can’t rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?” Musk replied in a comment below the writer’s tweet.

It then adds that it will explain “in a longer form” the logic behind the decision before it is implemented. But he also points out that this is “the only way to defeat bots and trolls”.

Jason Calacanis, a podcaster, investor and friend of Musk, posted a poll on the social network about whether and how much users would pay to have verified profiles and the accompanying blue badge.

His question is about $5, $10, and $15 a month, and the answer is “I won’t pay.” Less than 6% of those who voted said they would give $15 a month. Fortune indicates that four out of five voters are reluctant to give even the minimum of $5.

Calacanis himself explained in another tweet that having more people have verified profiles on the site, along with eliminating “bot armies,” is the “fastest path to making the platform safer” for everyone.

According to him, these measures are not the only way to achieve the goals, but they will have a “quick and dramatic effect”.

Musk himself, who changed his description on the platform to “Twitter complaint line operator” in the wake of the backlash, is apparently following Kalakanis’ poll, which he commented as “interesting.”

The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX gave an impressive $44 billion to acquire the social network. However, he wants to change the model where it is mainly financed by advertising.

That’s obviously where the proposal for a monthly fee for blue badge users comes from.


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