Stephen King has blasted Elon Musk’s plans to introduce a monthly fee for Twitter users who want to have a blue tick featured next to their name on the platform, as the billionaire starts reshaping his newly acquired company.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has proposed a monthly charge of up to $20 for celebrities, politicians, journalists, and other users who wish to have a verified account, but King has said “f**k that” and has threatened to leave the platform.
“$20 a month to keep my blue check? F**k that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron,” the bestselling author wrote.
Musk tried to haggle with King and stressed that Twitter needs to make a profit by means other than advertisements.
“We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?,” Musk, the new self-titled “Chief Twit” and “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator” wrote.
We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
He went on to promise a full explanation for the monetization scheme before the feature is fully implemented but stressed that the move is “the only way to defeat the bots and trolls.”
King later pointed out that he could easily afford the cost of the checkmark but stated that it “ain’t the money, it’s the principle of the thing.”
After officially acquiring the platform for $44 billion, Musk’s main task has been to try and monetize the blue verification checkmarks. According to a Verge report, the billionaire has given relevant staff until November 7 to implement the feature.
The new subscription would also replace the Twitter Blue program – a $5 dollar monthly fee that was introduced last year to allow users to edit their tweets among other options. Current subscribers will reportedly have 90 days to switch to the new tariff if they want to retain the features and be allowed to have a blue checkmark next to their name.
Musk launched his bid to buy Twitter in April, stating that he wanted to turn the platform into a “common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.”
After a tumultuous buyout process lasting six months, Musk finalized the purchase on Friday. Since then, he has announced several initiatives, including the creation of a special panel tasked with reviewing the accounts of users who were previously banned. One of his first moves was firing several of the company’s top managers including former CEO Parag Agrawal as well as letting go of the entire board of directors.
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