The Philippines, alongside New Zealand, has been selected as a pilot ground for a novel payment system by the social media giant X, previously known as Twitter. This initiative, unveiled on Tuesday (local Manila time being Wednesday), introduces a “Not a Bot” feature, mandating a nominal annual subscription of $1 for new registrants.
For new Filipino participants, this translates to an annual charge of approximately P42.51. Contextually, as per a report from the data analytics firm Statista in January 2023, the Philippines stands as the 13th largest user base for the platform now under Elon Musk’s proprietorship, hosting 11.8 million users. In contrast, the United States tops the chart with a staggering 95.4 million users.
X articulated its rationale behind this innovative approach, stating, “This new test was developed to bolster our already significant efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform, and bot activity.” The strategy behind imposing a minimal fee is to assess its efficacy in thwarting automated accounts and spammers, thereby preserving the platform’s integrity and user experience.
The perks of this subscription for new users encompass the ability to post content, engage with posts through Likes and Replies, Repost or Quote messages from other accounts, and Bookmark posts. The primary drive is to safeguard against inauthentic accounts, commonly known as bots, and spammers seeking to undermine the digital ecosystem of X.
The company emphasized, “This new program aims to defend against bots and spammers who attempt to manipulate the platform and disrupt the experience of other X users.” They expressed anticipation about the forthcoming insights this pilot program is poised to reveal.
It’s crucial to note that this program is exclusive to new users, thereby exempting the existing user community from this policy.
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