Apple allegedly threatened to “withhold” Twitter from the iOS App Store for unspecified reasons, according to Elon Musk. The information comes after Musk claimed in a tweet that Apple has “largely halted advertising” on the social media site and a poll that inquired about whether Apple needs to “reveal all censorship acts it has made that have an impact on its consumers.”
Apple did not respond to Musk’s assertion right away. The report comes after far more subdued indications of escalating conflict between Musk-owned Twitter and Apple. Musk called the in-app purchase fee charged by Apple’s App Store a “hidden 30% tax” online.
Phil Schiller, the head of Apple’s App Store, also canceled his Twitter account after Musk took control of it, not long after Donald Trump’s account had been restored. Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that “they say that they are going to continue to moderate” in an interview with CBS News on November 15.
Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022
I rely on them to keep acting in that way. Musk, on the other hand, has promised to relax Twitter’s moderation policies and proposed a widespread unbanning of suspended accounts. Twitter has long pushed the limits of Apple App Store regulation which has succeeded in getting sites like Discord, Tumblr and others to either suppress or completely ban potentially offending content (usually pornographic content).
In a recent editorial, former Twitter executive Yoel Roth claimed that the company has occasionally fought with Apple about content like racial insults and the hashtag #boobs. Twitter is still one of the only major platforms that still permit explicit content on its app.
If Musk’s claim is true, “withhold” may refer to either a temporary rejection of an update to the Twitter app or a more serious threat to remove Twitter from the iOS App Store, both of which would be disastrous for Twitter.
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