Elon Musk offers free premium features on X, crypto scammers included

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Elon Musk will no longer charge influential accounts on X for certain premium features as long as they meet certain conditions. However, those conditions also appear achievable for accounts involved in cryptocurrency scams.

On March 28, Musk announced that accounts with 2,500 verified subscribers as followers will no longer need to pay for “Premium” features on X. Additionally, accounts with over 5,000 followers will get free access to “Premium+.”

Source: Elon Musk on X

X offers paid subscriptions for three tiers of premium services — Basic, Premium and Premium+ — incrementally unlocking more features for content creators within the X platforms.

However, the ability to purchase verification on Twitter allows scammers and bad actors to easily impersonate influential people and dupe their followers into various scams.

Elon Musk rolled out the paid verification model on X, earlier known as “Twitter Blue,” to fight scammers and spammers thriving on the platform before his takeover.

Regardless, the crypto community argues that the X Premium features continue to aid scammers in reaching potential victims more effectively.

While some community members appreciated Musk’s decision not to charge popular account verification fees, skeptics pointed out possible loopholes, given the lack of information about the platform’s internal mechanism to ensure eligibility.

Prominent game developer Tyler Glaiel argued:

“haha so a bot farm can buy 2500 accounts and then use those to verify infinite accounts (or have them all follow each other and then stop paying?)”

Few users — while acknowledging the costs involved — echoed Glaiel’s sentiment in speculating that the new feature could incentivize large groups of scammers to join hands and repurpose accounts for different types of cyberattacks.

Some smaller accounts on X believe that Musk’s recent move incentivizes the “rich,” while others urged fellow verified users to play the system by following each other in order to claim free premium services.

Related: X launches dedicated payments account, crypto community speculates

X is well aware of the concerns around verified scam accounts as, earlier in January 2024, the platform scaled back pricing for verified organizations on the social media platform.

The move was aimed at countering numerous “gold check” accounts dedicated to pushing crypto scams.

Source: Verified on X

A recent CloudSEK report highlighted that “malicious campaigns are brooding on a large scale that requires a Twitter Gold account,” targeting X users with job and crypto scams.

However, many speculated the price drop may have been an attempt to gain more paid subscribers.

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