Was Stephen King played by Elon Musk? Fans claim writer fell for $20 ruse

Many believe it was a sound financial strategy employed by the billionaire

Was Stephen King played by Elon Musk? Fans claim writer fell for $20 ruse
Stephen King and Elon Musk had a Twitter exchange over the price of account verification (Larry French & Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
ADVERTISEMENT

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: Fans of Stephen King were overjoyed that their favorite author forced Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, to bring down the price of Twitter verification from $20 to $8 - but things might not be as simple as they seem.

The bestselling author of 'The Shining' had griped about the possibility of having to pay $19.99 a month for a verified blue check on his account. The new owner of Twitter quickly responded, saying they "need to pay the bills somehow" and offered, "How about $8?" Musk said it was the "only way to defeat the bots & trolls.” By mid-day Tuesday, November 1, the SpaceX CEO appeared to have cemented the price point he gave King, tweeting, "Power to the people! Blue for $8/month." King's fans rejoiced at the bargain and declared that Musk had conceded to the author. However, many believe it was a sound financial strategy employed by the billionaire.

ADVERTISEMENT

ALSO READ 

FIRED 4: From embattled CEO to the man who banned Trump, here's who Elon Musk binned first

'If I die under mysterious circumstances...': Elon Musk fans rally around tycoon after Russia threat

ADVERTISEMENT

"My assumption was that the $20 thing was an intentionally high fake number so that when he revealed the $8 price people would think it was more reasonable," one tweeted. "The same thing happened the day before the iPad was announced when a $1000 price leaked and then it was actually $500."

"It is called anchoring. A very good strategy. What Elon did there was brilliant. Not a huge fan but credit where credit is due," another wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Maybe subjective, but looking at the last two days, this is also a perfect example of price anchoring. In their first tweet, Elon and crew started with 20$. Following along, 8$ now feels like a bargain. Ignoring it's still 8$ for something that used to be free," a comment read.

"Funniest thing about this is that Elon just owned Stephen King!" someone else quipped.

ADVERTISEMENT

"The fact that Stephen and thousands of others were played by @elonmusk yet again is hilarious," another added


ADVERTISEMENT


 

 



 

 


ADVERTISEMENT


 

 



 

 


ADVERTISEMENT


 

According to Feedough, the anchoring bias is a cognitive bias widely popular in pricing, negotiation, and other contexts. The bias describes the tendency to rely heavily on the first piece of information offered in an interaction, also called the anchor, which establishes a frame of reference. Decision makers base their decisions around that anchor. Fox example, if a prospective customer sees a shirt that costs $1,200 and then a second one that costs $100, they are prone to view the second shirt as cheap.

ADVERTISEMENT

TOP STORIES

Inside David DePape’s blog: From antisemitic rants to zombified photos of Hillary Clinton and Bill Gates

The murder of Victoria Martens: Man gets 37 years for killing and mutilating GF's daughter, 10, on her b'day

ADVERTISEMENT

In the months before the acquisition, Musk stated explicitly that he planned to change the way Twitter validates accounts and manages bots. He tweeted on Sunday, October 30 that "the entire verification process is currently being revised." Twitter team members were reportedly told that failure to launch the functionality by November 7 will result in termination. According to the Verge, the instruction from Musk is to convert Twitter Blue, the company's optional $4.99 per month subscription that unlocks more services, into a more expensive offering that also validates users. Verified users would have 90 days to subscribe under the existing arrangement in order to keep their blue checkmark.

ADVERTISEMENT

Share this article: Was Stephen King played by Elon Musk? Fans claim writer fell for $20 ruse