Elon Musk declares war on Apple

accounts certified before Elon Musk soon deprived of blue badge?

Owner of Twitter for a month, Elon Musk declared “war” on Apple on Monday, November 28, after having already put the social network in a perilous position by alienating advertisers, (ex) employees and regulators. The stormy billionaire assured that Apple “threatened” to remove the social network from its application storeessential on the iPhone.

“Apple has threatened to remove Twitter from its App Store, but they won’t tell us why,” the Twitter boss said after a series of tweets accusing the Apple brand of censorship and abuse of dominance. “Apple has basically stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?“, he launched in particular, before challenging the leader of the Californian group in these terms: “What is happening Tim Cook?”.

“Is Apple threatening Twitter’s availability on the App Store or making content moderation requirements?” Asked a user Elon Musk, who replied “yes”.

Elon Musk has published a “meme” (parody image) representing a car called “Elon” which takes a freeway exit in the direction of “declare war”, instead of continuing straight towards “pay 30%”, Apple’s commission on user spending performed via the app store.

The boss of Tesla advocates a relaxation of the moderation of content on the social network, in accordance with his absolutist vision of freedom of expression. He recently had the account of Donald Trump and other banned personalities reinstated after breaking the rules.

Advertisers are deserting Twitter

His approach scares many brands, from General Motors to Pfizer, which have suspended their ads on the platform. However, Twitter’s turnover depends on 90% of advertising revenue. According to the washington postin the first quarter of this year, Apple was the main advertiser on the networkwith $48 million in expenses, or more than 4% of quarterly revenue.

The fight against problematic messages (harassment, misinformation, hate speech, etc.) is also essential vis-à-vis the authorities (the European Union, for example, requires platforms to quickly remove illegal content) and mobile operating systems , i.e. iOS (Apple) and Android (Google).

The two giants can ban any application that does not respect their rules on content, which are often quite vague, with “catastrophic” consequences for said application, explained ten days ago Yoel Roth, former head of security at Twitter. “Apple and Google have enormous power over the decisions Twitter makes,” he summed up in an editorial published by the New York Times.

Their representatives “regularly raise their objections to certain content”, he detailed, leading “to delay projects and spark crises that can last for weeks or months”.

A “secret suppression of freedom of expression”

Elon Musk, who has fired more than half of Twitter’s staff, is already facing many strategic problems, but he seems determined to provoke Apple. “Apple’s Secret Suppression of Free Speech. Customers were never informed. What the fuck is this?” he tweeted in response to a message from another account, accusing Apple of Covid-themed censorship.

He then promised to publish soon “Twitter files” (a term designating documents revealed by whistleblowers), on the “suppression of freedom of expression”, because “the public deserves to know what really happened”. “Did you know thatApple has a secret 30% tax on everything you buy through their App Store ?” he asked again.

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