Elon Musk has claimed Apple has threatened to withhold Twitter from the App Store, publicly calling the tech giant out for its approach to ‘free speech in America’.
“Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter,” he said, asking: “Do they hate free speech in America?"
Tagging Apple CEO Tim Cook, he added: “What’s going on here @tim_cook?”
In another tweet, Musk continued: “Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.”
Writing for The Verge, reporter Adi Robertson said ‘withhold’ in this instance could mean ‘temporarily rejecting an update to the Twitter app’ or even ‘a more serious threat to boot Twitter from the iOS App Store’, adding that the latter would be a ‘devastating potential outcome for Twitter’.
Robertson notes how Musk’s posts follow ‘much more subtle signs’ of increasing tension between Apple and Twitter, following his takeover of the social media platform earlier this year.
One example saw Musk criticise Apple’s App Store fee for in-app purchases, describing the charge as a ‘hidden 30% tax’.
After Musk took reign of Twitter, Apple App Store boss Phil Schiller also deleted his account, adding to speculation that trouble was brewing between the two companies.
UNILAD has reached out to Apple for comment.
Musk has been ruffling a fair few feathers since taking over Twitter, having begun by sacking a load of staff before rehiring some of them and also reinstated Donald Trump’s Twitter on a whim after a poll on his own personal account.
He has also encouraged the remaining staff to be prepared to work ‘hardcore’ and endure ‘long hours at high intensity’, saying that, if they don’t want to do that, they can leave.
There’s also been a whole upheaval surrounding the blue verification ticks on the platform, with Musk announcing that there will be a subscription fee to pay for such an accreditation – something that essentially means anyone can pay to be verified these days, leading some to question if that dilutes the point of the process in the first place.
He’s also announced a ‘general amnesty’ to suspended accounts ‘provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam’.