Stephen King Complains, and Elon Musk Responds

Twitter chief floats idea of $8 monthly subscription for verified users
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2022 12:56 PM CDT
Updated Nov 5, 2022 1:30 PM CDT
Stephen King Complains, and Elon Musk Responds
Elon Musk attends Heidi Klum's annual Halloween party Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

When word emerged Monday that Elon Musk might impose a $20 monthly subscription for verified Twitter users, none other than Stephen King complained. "They should pay me," the horror master tweeted. "If that gets instituted, I'm gone." Musk himself responded on Tuesday and floated the possibility of a lesser amount, reports the Wall Street Journal. "We need to pay the bills somehow!" he wrote. "Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?" The new owner of the platform added that he would explain the rationale before any hike went into place, but he called it "the only way to defeat the bots & trolls." King hasn't responded.

The suggestion from Musk comes as he quickly revamps the upper echelons of Twitter, first by firing its top execs and then its board of directors. The Washington Post has an explainer on the verification system—those verified get a coveted blue checkmark—which came into being in 2009 when celebs including Kanye West (now Ye) complained about impersonators. "The blue icon has grown into a security feature for the site and a defense against misinformation, but is also seen by some as a status symbol that is unfairly doled out," per the Post. And as the King tweet suggests, adding a monthly fee could lead to big-name members ditching the platform. (More Elon Musk stories.)

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