Elon Musk says he will create a new phone if Twitter is kicked off the App Store
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Elon Musk has responded to speculation that Twitter could be removed from the Apple Store over ‘safety’ concerns by suggesting that he could just make an ‘alternative smartphone’ if that happened. Here he is making one of the most laboured jokes you'll ever see:
As ever with the world’s richest man, it’s not clear whether he’s having a little joke here, or whether he’s actually serious.
After all, this is a man who claimed that he was going to end world hunger and says he’s going to colonise Mars.
To be fair, those things could still come true, but you can see why a liberal pinch of salt might be in order for certain claims he makes.
Still, there hasn’t been a dull moment since Musk took over at Twitter in a $44 billion deal.
First, he sacked a load of staff before rehiring a bunch of them, then loads of executives resigned, and now he’s reinstated Donald Trump to the platform, although we’ve yet to hear from him upon his return.
He also seems to be on some sort of free speech crusade – calling himself a ‘free speech absolutist - but has so far been quite vague about what exactly that means.
In the past he’s criticised Twitter for perceived anti-democratic rules, stating that the company has failed to keep ‘free speech principles’.
It seems as if Musk’s idea of free speech is that people should be able to say anything that isn’t illegal.
Apple, on the other hand, has pages and pages of guidelines that must be adhered to if apps are to remain on the Apple Store for iPhones and other Apple devices.
Those guidelines are rooted in the idea of ‘safety’ as Apple sees it.
The first page reads: “When people install an app from the App Store, they want to feel confident that it's safe to do so — that the app doesn't contain upsetting or offensive content.”
Musk himself has complained recently about Apple’s fees that Twitter has to pay, calling them essentially a ‘hidden 30 percent tax on the internet’.
Anyway, if it come to it he’ll just make another phone if they get kicked from the App Store, as he tweeted: “I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone.”
It must be nice to have the kind of money to make these sweeping proclamations.
As an interested observer, you’d almost have to want it to ‘come to that’ because then we’d get to see what kind of smartphone would emerge from it.
No doubt it would be an unusual and interesting one.