Elon Musk said his plan to charge Twitter users $8 a month for a blue check mark might be a “dumb decision, but we’ll see” in the Twitter Space with advertisers on Wednesday.
He reiterated that he did not like the “lords and peasants situation where some people have blue check marks” on Twitter.
Musk said the US “was at war to get rid of that stuff,” and that’s “how I feel philosophically.”
Musk announced in a November 1 tweet to “Twitter’s Existing Lords and Peasants Order” that a renewed Twitter Blue subscription, which will give subscribers a blue checkmark, will be $8 per month.
Earlier on Wednesday, Musk had tweeted that “Twitter is going to do a lot of stupid things in the coming months,” which he talked about in the space.
“Obviously the intent is not to do stupid things,” Musk said. “We are not stupid with ambition. We are not stupid with ambition.”
Musk said the company should be adventurous and “make some really big leaps and make radical improvements” with risk. The key, he said, is to be “extremely agile”.
“When we do a dumb move, we correct it quickly, and that’s what really matters,” Musk said.
He was joined by Robin Wheeler, who heads Twitter’s global advertising sales team, and Will Roth, head of Twitter’s trust and security division, at City Hall for Advertisers.
Musk explained that paying $8 for verification is “important” and “necessary” to deal with “millions of bots” and “troll farms” on Twitter, including “malicious acts by government agencies.”
It’s cheap to create a fake Twitter account, Musk said, and “hundreds of millions” are made of them every year. He said charging $8 a month raises the cost of a bot or troll to create an account.
“It’s not just about the money, because you can say, ‘Well, wouldn’t a government representative get $8 million a day to make a million fake accounts? Well, yes, they have the budget.
The problem, Musk said, is that the government representative doesn’t have “a million credit cards, and they don’t have a million phones.”
Musk said the platform will “vigorously” pursue impersonation and deception on Twitter, and suspend accounts “at least temporarily” for impersonation or deception.