Elon Musk has addressed the still-in-progress pushback spurred by a reported plan to implement a $20 monthly charge for verification on Twitter.
Specifically, Musk responded to the ongoing criticism by proposing a lower monthly rate in a tweeted reply to Stephen King. On Halloween, King slammed the reported $20 plan and threatened to leave the platform should it be put into motion.
“Fuck that, they should pay me,” King told his nearly seven million followers.
Others to have criticized the potential $20 option include Freddie Gibbs, who lamented “this blue check shit” in his own Halloween-shared tweet.
In his initial response to King, Musk floated a possible $8 charge, although it’s not really the amount of the charge that has people expressing their frustrations but is instead the principal.
“We need to pay the bills somehow!” Musk said, adding that Twitter can’t rely “entirely on advertisers.” In a follow-up tweet, Musk said the monthly charge approach is “the only way to defeat the bots [and] trolls.”
Over the weekend, a report from the Verge claimed that Musk (who recently took over Twitter after an eventful back-and-forth that at one point included a lawsuit) wanted to put in place a revised version of Twitter Blue under which currently verified users would be given 90 days to sign up for a subscription or, in the words of the report, “lose their blue checkmark.”
Last week, Musk shared an open letter to advertisers in which he said he acquired Twitter with hopes of maintaining the platform as “a common digital town square.” According to Musk, social media at large is in “great danger” of continued divisions.