Elon Musk has been tweeting again, and this time he’s come after Apple.
The new Twitter CEO claims that Apple has ‘threatened to withhold Twitter’ from the App Store, but that he has been left in the dark as to why that is.
While this may be the case, tensions have been growing between him and Tim Cook’s company recently with regards to content moderation.
What’s more, Mr Musk has also alluded to making an ‘alternative phone’ if his social network is permanently banned from both the Apple and Google app stores.
Elon Musk has eluded to making an ‘alternative phone’ if his social network is permanently banned from both the Apple and Google app stores
The new Twitter CEO claims that Apple has ‘threatened to withhold Twitter’ from the App Store, but that he has been left in the dark as to why that is
Both companies have their own policies in place which prevent hate speech, discrimination and harassment on the apps they host.
While neither has responded to Musk’s allegation specifically, Apple CEO Tim Cook has told CBS News that Twitter execs ‘say that they are going to continue to moderate’ and he’s ‘counting on’ them to do so.
However, Mr Musk’s recent moves may suggest otherwise, like saying he will grant a reprieve to accounts that have not ‘broken the law or engaged in egregious spam’.
He has already welcomed back Donald Trump, but the former US president decided not to rejoin, feeling more at home on his own social network Truth Social.
Shortly after, Phil Schiller, an Apple Fellow responsible for leading the App Store, deleted his Twitter account after being active on it since 2008.
This alluded to tension between the two companies, but it has not affected Mr Musk’s heavy criticism of Apple’s decisions.
Yesterday, he tweeted the company had ‘mostly stopped advertising’ on Twitter, meaning they could be joining the other at least 50 companies who have done so since he took over.
The Twitter head also accused Apple of applying a ‘hidden 30% tax’ to in-app purchases within those hosted by the App Store.
This tax would eat into his profit margins if he does relaunch its $8-per-month Twitter Blue subscription service later this week.
Mr Musk has called the dynamic exhibited by both Apple and Google demonstrative of a ‘duopoly,’ and has said the fees charged by the tech giants ‘are obviously too high.’
In response to a tweet from a right wing podcast host, who suggested he should build his own smartphone as an alternative to ‘biased, snooping iPhone & Android’, Mr Musk said he would consider one as a last resort
He recently tweeted the company had ‘mostly stopped advertising’ on Twitter, meaning they could be joining the other at least 50 companies who have done so since he took over.
The tech mogul also started a poll with his followers, asking if they agree that ‘Apple should publish all censorship actions it has taken that affect its customers’.
Even before Mr Musk took the helm, Twitter has been at odds with Apple about its content moderation, or lack thereof.
In an interview with the New York Times, the site’s former head of safety and integrity Yoel Roth said his team would often be contacted by reps with gripes over racial slurs and sexual content.
Apple has also suspended popular apps that do not abide by its store’s moderation rules in the past, like the ‘free speech’ Twitter alternative Parler.
It was removed in the wake of the US Capitol riots in January 2021, but was reinstated three months later after the app made its moderation policies more stringent.
In recent weeks, Twitter users have said they’ve seen a dramatic increase in racist and anti-Semitic tweets – as well as far more scams – on the social network.
According to Bloomberg, Twitter has fired many contractors who worked on policing the deluge of tweets for misinformation and hate speech under the site’s rules.
While it would certainly be a huge loss to Twitter if the app was booted from the App Store and Google Play Store, the ‘Chief Twit’ has promised that he won’t back down.
In response to a tweet from a right wing podcast host, who suggested he should build his own smartphone as an alternative to ‘biased, snooping iPhone & Android’, he said he would consider one as a last resort.
Over the weekend, industry insiders told the Financial Times that Twitter’s current ad situation has worsened in recent weeks.
Twitter has lost over $750 million in advertising in 2022 alone, according to Media Matters’ report.
This is as agencies have seen decreased communication with Twitter’s ads business team due to so few staff being left following mass layoffs.
Mr Musk fired roughly 50 percent of the original 7,500-strong workforce after taking control of the company in October – and has since received resignations from more than 1,200 others.
The mass walkouts came after Mr Musk told staffers earlier this month that they must commit to working ‘long hours at high intensity’ or else leave the company.
That said, the vast majority of companies cited by Media Matters fit the ‘quiet quitter’ classification, pulling ad campaigns from the social media site while not explicitly stating they were doing so or airing plans for a potential return.
These include M&M maker Mars, General Motors, tech firm Kyndryl and pharma companies Merck & Co. and Novartis AG.
At a meeting with staff at Twitter’s San Francisco HQ (pictured) on Monday, Musk presented several features that he plans to introduce to Twitter going forward
The latest of changes Mr Musk has proposed for Twitter is end-to-end encryption to direct messages (DMs) – a feature that’s already on chat apps WhatsApp and Signal – as well as voice and video calling.
According to The Verge, he presented this and several other features that he wants to introduce to Twitter going forward to Twitter staff on November 21.
End-to-end encryption ensures only the two participants of a chat can read messages, and no one in between – not even the company that owns the service.
What’s more, code in the Twitter app suggests Twitter is already working on encrypted messages.
A recording of Mr Musk’s presentation to staff was obtained and partly transcribed by The Verge.
His vision for Twitter was displayed in a selection of presentation slides entitled ‘Twitter 2.0’, according to staff.
Mr Musk said he wants to make it impossible for hackers to gain access to someone’s DMs on Twitter, even in the most extreme circumstances.
‘It should be the case that I can’t look at anyone’s DMs if somebody has put a gun to my head,’ he said.
‘We want to enable users to be able to communicate without being concerned about their privacy, without being concerned about a data breach at Twitter causing all of their DMs to hit the web, or think that maybe someone at Twitter could be spying on their DMs.
‘That’s obviously not going to be cool and it has happened a few times before.’