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No more free X: Elon Musk plans paywall to block millions of fake accounts



Tech billionaire Elon Musk on Tuesday hinted that users of social media platform X, formerly Twitter, may be charged a monthly fee, stating that a payment system is the only way to combat bots.

“We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system,” Musk said, in a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He said that his solution to combat bots and fake accounts on social media is to charge for verification, though it remains unclear whether this was an off-the-cuff comment or a signal of firmer plans.

The social media giant X’s new owner, who took over last year, is incentivising users to pay for X Premium, offering paid subscribers more features like longer posts and increased visibility.

However, users can currently still use X for free.

Although Musk insists that getting people to pay for the service is aimed at tackling bots, there seems to be a clear financial interest for the company to charge users, according to BBC.

“A bot costs a fraction of a penny” to make he said. “But if somebody even has to pay a few dollars or something, some minor amount, the effective cost to bots is very high”.

The world’s richest person is exploring cheaper options for users of X Premium, which currently costs $8 (£6.50) per month in the US, depending on the subscriber’s country.

“We’re actually going to come up with a lower tier pricing. So we just want it to be just a small amount of money,” he said.

“This is a longer discussion, but in my view, this is actually the only defence against vast armies of bots,” Musk added.

However, there is a chance that placing X behind a paywall may result in a drastic loss of a significant portion of its users.

It may even affect the company’s primary source of income at the moment, advertising revenue, causing a consequent decline.


Play it once: WhatsApp rolls out one-time viewing feature for voice notes




Meta-owned WhatsApp claims to be the most secure medium for online conversations and keeps bringing improvements to support this claim.

One of the latest features WhatsApp has rolled out for safer conversations is the “view once” option for voice messages.

After introducing the “view once” feature for pictures to protect photo sharing from misuse, the instant messenger has made the same feature applicable to voice notes.

“Say it once, play it once now you can select ‘view once’ when sending a voice note for an added layer of protection,” WhatsApp announced on its official account on X.

The post contained a slideshow video explaining the feature.

Using the “view once” option for voice notes, the users will have the choice and control over anything they are sharing.

They will be able to share what they want “privately” as the receiver will no longer be able to save, forward, or even listen to the voice notes more than once.

The new feature will also assist the safe transfer of “sensitive information” and have their peace of mind being carefree about the possibility of info being saved or forwarded to a third party. 

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Zindagi Trust gets featured on Meta website for transforming Pakistan’s education system




KARACHI: In Pakistan, where a staggering number of over 28 million children are out of school and education infrastructure widely suffers, Zindagi Trust which is a non-profit organisation, is dedicated to revolutionising the education system.

Founded in 2003 by famous Pakistani singer Shehzad Roy, the trust works on the mission to provide quality education to underprivileged children and reform government schools in Pakistan, through pilot projects at model schools and advocacy with the government.

For its success in reaching and engaging supporters as an early adopter of WhatsApp Channels, Zindagi Trust has been featured on Meta’s website as a case study for government and charities.

The Trust is notably the first non-profit organisation from Pakistan to receive this recognition.

Capitalising on the popularity of Meta-owned messaging app, WhatsApp, Zindagi Trust set out with the objective of reaching new audiences, raising awareness, and facilitating fundraising.

It launched a WhatsApp Channel, through which emphasis was placed on initiatives extending beyond model schools, impacting government schools nationwide.

Zindagi Trust saw a significant surge in followers, a 7% increase in donations, and increased reach across its social ecosystem.

Speaking to, Zindagi Trust’s Senior Marketing & Resource Development Manager Faiq Ahmed said that WhatsApp channels have significantly contributed to the realisation of Zindagi Trust’s objectives by establishing a direct and interactive platform for communication with education and child protection enthusiasts.

Talking about collaboration with the government sector, Faiq said that their advocacy initiatives with the government’s help have left an indelible mark on Pakistan, catalysing groundbreaking changes nationwide.

“Through collaboration and perseverance, we continue to shape a brighter future for the children of Pakistan, not only in the education sector but also in areas vital to the well-being of our society,” he added. 

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Facebook and Instagram full of predators for children, alleges lawsuit




Meta’s social media platforms of Facebook and Instagram have become fertile grounds for child predators and paedophiles, revealed New Mexico’s Attorney General, Raul Torrez in a lawsuit.

Torrez’s office used fake accounts to conduct investigations and discovered that these fake accounts of minors were dispatched ‘solicitations’ and explicit content.

The lawsuit seeks court-ordered changes to protect minors, asserting that Meta has neglected voluntary actions to address these issues effectively.

In its response, Meta defended its initiatives in eradicating predators. However, New Mexico’s investigation disclosed a higher prevalence of exploitative material on Facebook and Instagram compared to adult content platforms.

Attorney General Torrez underscored the platforms’ unsafe nature for children, describing them as hotspots for predators to engage in illicit activities.

While US law shields platforms from content liability, the lawsuit argues that Meta’s algorithms actively promote sexually exploitative material, transforming the platforms into a marketplace for child predators.

The lawsuit accuses Meta of misleading users about platform safety, violating laws prohibiting deceptive practices, and creating an unsafe product.

Moreover, the lawsuit targets Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg personally, alleging contradictory actions in enhancing child safety while steering the company in the opposite direction.

In response, Meta reiterated its commitment to combating child exploitation, emphasizing its use of technology and collaborations with law enforcement to address these concerns.

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