Twitter owner Elon Musk tells Stephen King the site needs charge for 'blue tick'

Elon Musk is standing by a blue tick fee credit:Bang Showbiz
Elon Musk is standing by a blue tick fee credit:Bang Showbiz

Elon Musk insists Twitter needs to charge for its "blue tick" to battle "bots and trolls".

The Tesla boss - who completed his $44 billion takeover of the platform last week - is looking to charge users to have a blue tick on their account by making verification part of the Twitter Blue subscription, with reports suggesting the fee could go from $4.99 a month to $19.99.

This has angered many users on the app, including iconic horror writer Stephen King, who insisted he would quit if that was the case.

He tweeted: $20 a month to keep my blue check? F*** that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I'm gone like Enron."

Elon has since responded to the 'Carrie' author, and claimed the move is being made because the social media platform can't "rely entirely on advertisers".

Suggesting a smaller fee, he replied: "We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?"

He also promised to delve deeper into his "rationale" for the move before it gets put in place.

He added: "I will explain the rationale in longer form before this is implemented. It is the only way to defeat the bots and trolls."

Before the sale of Twitter was finalised on 27 October, the 51-year-old business mogul shared his vision for the platform.

He tweeted in a message called ‘Dear Twitter Advertisers’: "The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilisation to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence."

Elon added there is a huge danger social media will splinter into far right-wing and far left-wing echo chambers that could divide society, warning: "In the relentless pursuit of clicks, much of traditional media has fuelled and catered to those polarised extremes, as they believe that is what brings in the money, but, in doing so, the opportunity for dialogue is lost.

"Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences! In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature."