Elon Musk says Apple has threatened to withhold Twitter from the App Store. The iPhone maker didn’t specify a reason for it, the Twitter CEO claims. This comes amid concerns that Musk’s “free speech absolutist” stance may lead to the social media app getting the boot from app stores, including the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
Apple has also stopped advertising on Twitter
Musk plans to develop Twitter into a safe and secure platform for free speech. The idea is to remove only illegal speech and not ban people for posting or saying something that isn’t legally wrong. He has already announced a general amnesty for blocked or suspended accounts as long as they haven’t broken the law. The Twitter boss has also reinstated several suspended accounts, including that of former US president Donald Trump.
However, not everyone echoes this idea of free speech, including Apple, it seems. According to Musk, the iPhone maker has “mostly stopped” advertising on Twitter and threatened to remove the app from the App Store. Well, reports are that several advertisers have already fleed the social media platform. But the Twitter boss targeted Apple and said: “Do they hate free speech in America?” Musk followed up that tweet to tag Apple CEO Tim Cook and ask him “what’s going on here?”
In subsequent tweets, Musk questioned Apple’s monopolistic behavior on the App Store where the company charges a 30 percent commission from the revenue developers generate from their apps. Apple also prevents developers from using alternate billing systems. Musk then hinted at potential “secret suppression of free speech by Apple” by forcing developers to filter some search terms. “Who else has Apple censored?” he questioned.
Musk then published a public poll on whether “Apple should publish all censorship actions it has taken that affect its customers”. As of this writing, nearly 1.9 million people have voted, with over 84 percent of them saying “Yes”. Meanwhile, Musk says he will soon publish “The Twitter Files on free speech suppression” on Twitter itself. “The public deserves to know what really happened,” he said. “This is a battle for the future of civilization. If free speech is lost even in America, tyranny is all that lies ahead,” Musk added.
The first month of Musk’s Twitter 2.0 has been pretty chaotic thanks to the new boss hurrying to make multiple changes to the platform. Things have slowed down a bit for good in recent days. But the company’s content moderation policies are now garnering interest from every corner. It remains to be seen if Apple removes Twitter from the App Store. More importantly, if Google also follows the suit. Musk recently suggested that he would make smartphones with his own mobile platform if Apple and Google ban Twitter.
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