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Elon Musk plans to charge individuals $8 if they wish to contact him directly

Elon Musk persists in promoting X audio and video calls despite skepticism, akin to the futile pursuit of “fetch.” His recent approach involves abandoning his phone number and relying solely on X for calls and texts. “In a few months, I will discontinue my phone number and only use X for texts and audio/video calls,” stated the billionaire on X, formerly Twitter, in a tweet early Friday morning.

If Musk follows through with the plan — though it’s possible this is just speculative — he would effectively compel individuals to subscribe to an X Premium membership, priced at a minimum of $8 per month, in order to contact him. While all X users can receive audio and video calls, only Premium members have the privilege to initiate calls. Typically, only mutual connections can initiate calls on the platform, and to reach someone not in your network, they must have previously messaged you directly. X introduced audio and video calls last October.

Moreover, solely relying on X and relinquishing his phone number poses challenges due to security constraints. According to independent app researcher Nima Owji, SMS confirmation codes, crucial for processes like two-factor authentication, remain integral to online security. Even platforms like WhatsApp utilize SMS codes for account creation.

X itself utilizes SMS confirmation codes for user verification, although this option is exclusive to Premium subscribers. Free X users have the alternative of authentication apps or security keys for two-factor authentication, deemed more secure than SMS by experts, who caution against vulnerabilities like SIM swapping, which can lead to phone number hijacking.

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