Elon Musk accused Apple of threatening to dam Twitter from its app store without saying why in a series of tweets on Monday that also said the iPhone maker had stopped promoting on the social media platform.
The billionaire CEO of Twitter and Tesla said Apple was pressuring Twitter over content moderation demands.
The motion, unconfirmed by Apple, wouldn’t be unusual as the corporate has routinely enforced its rules and previously removed apps comparable to Gab and Parler.
Parler, which is popular with conservatives, was restored by Apple in 2021 after the app updated its content and moderation practices, the businesses said on the time.
“Apple has mostly stopped promoting on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?,” Musk, who took Twitter private for $44 billion last month, said in a tweet.
He later tagged Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook’s Twitter account in one other tweet, asking “what’s happening here?”
Tim Cook’s Apple has routinely enforced its rules and previously removed apps comparable to Gab and Parler.Getty Images
Apple didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.
“It wasn’t clear to me how far up the Apple food chain that concept went internally and without knowing that, it isn’t clear how seriously to take any of this,” said Randal Picker, a professor on the University of Chicago Law School.
The world’s most useful firm spent an estimated $131,600 on Twitter ads between Nov. 10 and Nov. 16, down from $220,800 between Oct. 16 and Oct. 22, the week before Musk closed the Twitter deal, based on ad measurement firm Pathmatics.
In the primary quarter of 2022, Apple was the highest advertiser on Twitter, spending $48 million and accounting for greater than 4% of total revenue for the period, the Washington Post reported, citing an internal Twitter document.
Twitter didn’t immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment on the report.
‘Go to war’
Among the many list of grievances tweeted by Musk was the as much as 30% fee Apple charges software developers for in-app purchases, with Musk posting a meme suggesting he was willing to “go to war” with Apple moderately than paying the commission.
The fee has drawn criticism and lawsuits from corporations comparable to Epic Games, the maker of ‘Fortnite’, while attracting the scrutiny of regulators globally.
The commission could weigh on Musk’s attempts to spice up subscription revenue at Twitter, partly to make up for the exodus of advertisers over content moderation concerns.
Firms from General Mills to luxury automaker Audi of America have stopped or paused promoting on Twitter for the reason that acquisition, and Musk said earlier this month that the corporate had seen a “massive” drop in revenue.
Ad sales account for about 90% of Twitter’s revenue.
The self-described free speech absolutist, whose company has up to now few days reinstated several Twitter accounts including that of former President Donald Trump, has blamed activist groups for pressuring advertisers.
Ben Bajarin, the pinnacle of consumer technologies at research firm Creative Strategies, said that Musk could also be reading an excessive amount of into an everyday process Apple goes through in app review.
“App review from Apple will not be perfect by any means and a consistently frustrating process for developers but from what I hear it’s a two-way conversation,” he said.