With the commercialisation of the social media space becoming more prominent, it is starting to get difficult to view content online anymore.
Elon Musk’s recent endeavours in October to add a paywall amongst other features behind X (formerly Twitter), a dystopian future of restricted freedom of information is approaching slowly but surely. This is another step in Musk’s process to remove bots from his platform.
Even if it will only cost a single dollar to use the platform, the domino effect that it could have on other social media platforms is shuddering to consider. If X’s subscription plan works out, then every other social media platform across the world will follow suit.
As a result, the users of these platforms could be prevented from posting and receiving information. If the common users are being neglected information, then misinformation could become more rampant than ever.
The manoeuvre to remove the headphone jack is an example in recent years that has successfully overtaken the entire smartphone market thanks to Apple. If X is able to create a similar impact, the internet could become unrecognisable in the near future.
The action of spending money to have the ability to post, share and communicate, which have been basic functions on media platforms since the late nineties, brings a worrying future to the internet as a whole.
Many people use social media to post about their lives, interact with others from a distance or lurk other profiles. Creating a border between those people could severely damage the number of online users on their platform, as Musk is proceeding towards, since his acquisition of the social media company.
Having to add another necessity to your monthly expenses is not a welcoming thought either. That one dollar (or euro) monthly subscription could easily add up on top of your other subscriptions – like streaming services and memberships.
As students, there are other factors that they need to worry about as well, such as travel expenses, foods and pub money. There shouldn’t be another expense that they have to pay on top of that for being informed or sharing content. Thankfully, the European Union is hindering Musk’s various plans – from his attempts at monthly subscriptions to information regulation.
Social media has always been about the user, whether it is about posting content or reaping the rewards of their content – financially or otherwise. If the users of the platform allow such features, like the monthly subscription to post to proceed, then it may become more difficult to share information online.
The monthly subscription of a euro may seem like a small donation to view content, but could easily ramp up the monthly costs of everyone on top of the expenses that people, especially students, need to pay for.