Twitter owner Elon Musk opened fire on Apple on Monday for its tight control over what’s allowed in the App Store, saying the iPhone maker has threatened to oust its recently acquired social media platform.
Musk also joined the chorus, weeping over a 30 percent fee that Apple collects on transactions through the App Store — the only gateway for applications to get to its more than billion mobile devices.
A series of tweets fired by Musk included a meme of a car with his first name on it pulling into a freeway exit marked “Go to War”, instead of continuing toward “Pay 30%” .
The billionaire’s CEO also tweeted that Apple has “threatened to keep Twitter out of the App Store, but won’t tell us why.”
Apple has also threatened to remove Twitter from the App Store, but won’t tell us why
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022
Apple did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment.
Both Apple and Google require social networking services in their app stores to have effective systems for moderating harmful or offensive content.
But since Musk took over Twitter last month, Musk has cut about half of Twitter’s workforce, including many employees tasked with fighting disinformation, while an unknown number of others have voluntarily quit.
He has also reinstated previously banned accounts, including those of former President Donald Trump.
Yoel Roth, the former head of trust and security at Twitter who left after Musk took over, wrote in a New York Times op-ed that “failing to follow Apple and Google guidelines would be catastrophic” and put you at risk “to be removed from their app”. stores.”
Musk describes himself as a “free speech absolutist” and believes that all legally permissible content should be allowed on Twitter. On Monday, he described his actions as a “revolution against online censorship in America.”
He also tweeted that he planned to publish “Twitter files on the suppression of free speech,” but without clarifying what data he had in mind to share with the public.
While Musk says Twitter is seeing record levels of engagement with him at the helm, his approach has rattled the company’s biggest backer: advertisers.
In recent weeks, half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have announced that they are suspending or otherwise “apparently stopped advertising on Twitter,” an analysis by nonprofit watchdog group Media Matters found.
Musk also accused Apple on Monday of having “largely stopped advertising on Twitter.”
“Do they hate free speech in America?” he asked, before replying with a tweet tagging Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Apple has largely stopped advertising on Twitter. Does she hate free speech in America?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022
In the first three months of 2022, Apple was the largest advertiser on Twitter, spending some $48 million on ads that accounted for more than 4 percent of the social media platform’s revenue, according to a Washington Post report that internal Twitter document is cited.
Sarah Roberts, an information studies expert at the University of California, Los Angeles, told AFP that “Musk didn’t understand that Twitter itself was a brand, had cachet.”
“Now companies don’t even want to be associated with it. It’s not even that they care about the content. Twitter is a tainted brand, one that companies don’t want to be associated with,” she added.
– Affect Tesla? –
Musk also called Apple’s fee on App Store transactions a “secret tax of 30%” on Monday.
He shared a video released last year by Fortnite maker Epic Games that depicted Apple as an oppressor in a mocking spin on a famous “1984” ad for Macintosh computers.
Apple has been in court with Epic, which has sought to break Apple’s grip on the App Store by accusing the iPhone maker of holding a monopoly on its store of digital goods or services.
A federal judge last year ordered Apple to relax its control over payment options in the App Store, but said Epic had been unable to prove antitrust violations had occurred.
Musk’s controversial moves on Twitter, along with the possibility that he will have to sell more Tesla stock to keep the social media platform afloat, have taken the shine off the electric car company and its stock, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.
“The new battle between Musk and Apple is not what investors want to see,” Ives said in a tweet.
“(Wall) Street wants less drama, not more, because this Twitter situation continues to be the gift that continues to give the Tesla bears with a new chapter every day.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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