https://www.theepochtimes.com/musk-says-commercial-government-twitter-users-may-be-charged-slight-fee-to-use-platform_4444933.html

Elon Musk said on May 3 that commercial and government users of Twitter may have to pay a small fee to continue using the social media platform in the future as part of his takeover of the company.

However, the Tesla CEO noted that the platform will always be free for “casual” users.

“Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users,” the businessman wrote on Twitter late Tuesday, just over a week after the company’s board agreed to his $44bn takeover.

Musk, who is the world’s richest man, did not elaborate on how much the small fee would be.

The Epoch Times has contacted a Twitter spokesperson for comment.

The billionaire’s announcement came shortly after he shared a cryptic message earlier in the day stating that “the downfall of the Freemasons was giving away their stonecutting services for nothing.”

If Musk’s new pay-to-use policy is to be implemented, it would mark the first time a major social media platform has charged users to use its platform.

The Space X founder has previously explained his vision for the freedom of speech and expression within the law on the social media platform, stating that “free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spambots, and authenticating all humans,” he said while touting the platform’s “tremendous potential.”

In now-deleted posts on Twitter, Musk also suggested slashing the price of Twitter’s Blue premium subscription service, banning advertising, and giving an option to pay in the cryptocurrency dogecoin, which he has championed on multiple occasions in the past, Reuters reports. 

Elon Musk arrives at the In America: An Anthology of Fashion themed Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on May 2, 2022. (Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters)

At the annual Met Gala in New York on May 2, Musk said he wants to expand Twitter from a “niche” platform to one that is used by most Americans.

“The goal I have … with Twitter is to have a service that is as broadly inclusive as possible, where ideally most of America is on it and talking,” he told reporters on the red carpet.

According to Twitter’s most recent earnings report, the platform has about 40 million daily active users in the United States.

Musk’s latest plans regarding fees for commercial and government users come after Democratic lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) took aim at an unnamed “billionaire with an ego problem” in a lengthy social media post on Monday.

Ocasio-Cortez, without mentioning Musk by name, wrote on Twitter that she was “tired of having to collectively stress about what explosion of hate crimes is happening bc [sic] some billionaire with an ego problem unilaterally controls a massive communication platform and skews it.”

In response, billionaire Musk wrote: “Stop hitting on me, I’m really shy,” alongside a smiley face.

The Democrat later retweeted the conversation with Musk alongside the caption: “like I said, ego problems.”

Katabella Roberts

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Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.

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