In a seismic turn of events, X, formerly recognized as Twitter, experienced a sudden outage mere hours after Elon Musk announced a game-changing strategy: imposing a mandatory payment for site access. While some parts of X remained functional for certain users, the majority grappled with issues, including difficulties loading tweets and timelines.
The outage prompted a surge in reports on the tracking website Down Detector, underscoring the global scale of the disruption. Ironically, Down Detector relies on user reports from X and thus faced its own set of challenges during this incident.
Elon Musk, in a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, defended the subscription fee as a necessary step to combat what he described as "vast armies of bots" that have infiltrated the platform. He remarked, "We're actually going to come up with a lower tier pricing... we just want it to be a small amount of money." Musk firmly believes that this move is the primary defense against the relentless bot onslaught.
Since assuming control of the platform formerly known as Twitter last year, Elon Musk, the mastermind behind Tesla and SpaceX, has consistently expressed his intent to diversify X's revenue streams, including through subscription models. The transformation of Twitter Blue into X Premium marked a significant shift, placing several previously free features behind the subscription paywall to drive sign-ups for the premium version.
This shift in revenue generation became imperative for Musk after X's advertising income plummeted post-acquisition. Concerns over Musk's support for unbridled free speech and more relaxed content moderation led to several advertisers reducing or completely halting their campaigns on the platform. Additionally, Musk faced allegations of antisemitism from various campaign groups, resulting in substantial revenue losses due to ad boycotts.
In his conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Musk reaffirmed his stance against hate speech, reiterating his commitment to combat antisemitism. This tumultuous episode leaves X at a pivotal juncture, as it navigates the complex terrain of monetization and strives to strike a balance between free expression and responsible content management.