Elon Musk Alleges Apple "Threatened to Withhold" Twitter From its App Store

Elon Musk Alleges Apple “Threatened to Withhold” Twitter From its App Store

Things involving Twitter seem to have been in disarray since Elon Musk officially acquired the company for $44 billion in October.

Monday, the platform’s new CEO claimed Apple has “threatened” to withhold Twitter from its iOS app store.

“Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why,” Musk said in a tweet. The Telsa founder took aim at Apple in several tweets Monday, saying it has mostly stopped advertising on the platform while also accusing the tech giant of engaging in censorship.

“Do they hate free speech in America?” he continued.

“What’s going on here @tim_cook?” Musk tweeted at Apple CEO in a separate post.

Elsewhere, Musk called out the company for collecting 30% from large app developers to be listed in its app store.

This would not be the first instance Apple would have taken issue with Twitter.

Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, said in a recently published op-ed in the NY Times that Apple’s App Store reviewers would often flag content on the social media site during its app review process.

“In my time at Twitter, representatives of the app stores regularly raised concerns about content available on our platform,” Roth wrote.  “Even as they appear to be driven largely by manual checks and anecdotes, these review procedures have the power to derail company plans and trigger all-hands-on-deck crises for weeks or months at a time.”

While Musk did not say whether Apple threatened to pull the app altogether or has issued a warning over content moderation practices, the company has previously shown that it will not hesitate to remove apps from its app store over concerns about its ability to moderate harmful content.

Last January, Apple removed Parler, an app popular with conservatives and right-winged parties, from its app store following the attack on the US Capitol. It was reinstated three months later after content moderation updates.

Various groups have already questioned whether Twitter can effectively moderate harmful content and maintain the platform’s safety following mass layoffs and employee exits.

Just this past Sunday, The Guardian reported that Twitter had initially failed to pull a “freshly uploaded” video of a 2019 terror attack at a mosque in New Zealand until government officials alerted the company. Activists have also raised concerns about the rise in hate speech and the reinstatement of high-profile accounts that were banned for breaking Twitter’s hate speech policies.

About Simone

Simone is an award-winning communications professional with over seven years of experience. Her passion for writing has led her to serve as Editor-in-Chief at Baller Alert. In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants and traveling (to mostly tropical destinations.)

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