Twitter (now 𝕏) has announced that it is testing a new subscription program called "Not A Bot" that it hopes would reduce spam and bot activity on its platform.
Starting October 17, 2023, new unverified users in New Zealand and the Philippines will be required to verify their phone numbers and sign up for a $1 annual subscription to be able to post and interact with other posts.
While this will not affect existing users, new users who opt out of subscribing will only be able to take “read-only” actions, such as read posts, watch videos, and follow accounts, without the ability to post content, like posts, reply, repost and quote other accounts’ posts or even bookmark posts.
In case you don't know, bots manipulate follower accounts, generate sales leads, and make their backers lots of money. According to Spamhaus, the countries with the highest number of detected spam bots include China, the United States, India, Venezuela, Indonesia, Algeria, Brazil, Thailand, Egypt, and Vietnam, as of October 2023.
It is unclear why 𝕏 is testing the service in New Zealand and the Philippines, where it has around 13 million users collectively, as of January 2023, even as they do not appear on the list of the worst botnet countries.
For years, the platform has struggled to deal with bot activity and spam and believes that this move will help it combat spam, bot activity, and the manipulation of its platform, "while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount."