Eric Idle has claimed Elon Musk “stole” ideas about charging people for “complaining” from Monty Python.
Since recently buying social media platform Twitter, Musk announced that Twitter would charge $8 (£7) for paid verification.
Following backlash from many users online, Musk wrote yesterday (November 2): “To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8” before then linking to a Monty Python clip.
“Totally stole idea of charging for insults & arguments from Monty Python, tbh,” Musk wrote alongside the clip, which shows Michael Palin and John Cleese in a scenario where people pay to get into arguments.
Today (November 3), Idle shared Musk’s tweet and wrote in response: “So you’re allowed to steal, but you wish to charge us to verify who we are? Good luck with that then.”
So you're allowed to steal but you wish to charge us to verify who we are? Good luck with that then. https://t.co/9a0RgFK3xv
— Eric Idle (@EricIdle) November 2, 2022
Before Musk confirmed the amount, Idle had speculated on the future of paying to use Twitter and suggested he would leave the platform.
“I’m sure Elon will want to start making his money back. But if he charges me to entertain you, and he let’s the orange monster back, I think I may decline,” Idle wrote. “I say go back to PythOnline where I first did this in the nineties…”
Under the current settings a user can become verified on Twitter by completing an application in their settings page. The “blue tick”, as it’s known informally, is generally reserved for public figures of a particular cultural relevance, including celebrities, influencers, and representatives of major companies such as news organisations.
News of Musk’s plans sparked anger earlier this week, with Kathy Burke among those voicing their protests.