Elon Musk claims Apple has threatened to take away the Twitter app

Elon Musk claims Apple has threatened to take away the Twitter app

Elon Musk claims Apple has threatened to take away the Twitter app

Twitter proprietor Elon Musk claimed on Monday in a sequence of tweets that Apple had threatened to take away the Twitter app from the App Retailer as a part of its app evaluate moderation course of.

“Apple has additionally threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Retailer, however will not inform us why,” Musk tweeted.

In different tweets fired off on Monday morning, he referred to as Apple’s App Retailer charges a “secret 30% tax,” and ran a poll asking if “Apple ought to publish all censorship actions it has taken that have an effect on its clients.” He additionally claimed that Apple has pulled most of its promoting from Twitter.

Apple’s App Retailer is the one option to distribute software program to iPhones. If the Twitter app have been pulled, the social community would lose one in all its predominant distribution platforms, though the service is out there for the online.

Elon Musk stated that his firm SpaceX can not fund the Starlink service in Ukraine “indefinitely.”

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As well as, Apple requires iPhone app makers to pay between 15% and 30% of any digital items offered by way of their apps. Musk has stated one in all his plans for Twitter is to lift billions of {dollars} from subscriptions, reminiscent of Twitter Blue, which is obtainable by way of the iPhone app. If it have been to develop to Musk’s targets, Apple would accumulate a whole lot of tens of millions of {dollars} within the course of.

Apple has confronted challenges to its App Retailer charges and insurance policies from corporations reminiscent of Spotify and Epic Video games, however Musk is not any stranger to attracting worldwide consideration, and will signify Apple’s largest problem to its management over iPhone app distribution to this point.

Apple declined to remark about Musk’s tweets.

However there are indicators that Apple is watching the social community carefully to see if it violates any App Retailer insurance policies.

Representatives for unnamed app shops, which embody Apple’s App Retailer in addition to Google Play for Android units, reached out to Twitter earlier this month after Musk took over and the positioning noticed a wave of hate speech, in line with a New York Occasions op-ed by Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of belief and security.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s former chief marketer who oversees App Evaluate, apparently deleted his Twitter account earlier this month after Musk took over.

Elon Musk has put Apple back in the crosshairs over Twitter and free speech, says WSJ's Tim Higgins

Phillip Shoemaker, the previous head of Apple’s app evaluate and present CEO of Id.com, stated Schiller’s transfer to delete his account reminded him of an organization making strikes to “put together for conflict.” He believes that Apple’s app evaluate division is maintaining an in depth eye on Twitter’s content material moderation beneath Musk to see if extra questionable content material, reminiscent of porn, slips by way of.

Apple’s latest strikes are “like whenever you take away troops from a rustic earlier than you assault,” Shoemaker stated. “You are pondering you are going to have to tug these apps from the shop.”

The place Twitter may fall afoul of Apple’s guidelines

There are two main the explanation why Apple’s App Retailer may take a more in-depth take a look at Twitter beneath its public guidelines:

  • Apple requires apps with user-generated content such as Twitter to have strong content moderation systems in place. Insufficient content moderation was the reason why Apple booted Parler, a smaller Twitter competitor, in 2020. Musk has reportedly vastly downsized Twitter’s content moderation workforce.
  • Apple requires apps to pay fees between 30% and 15% for digital purchases. When Epic Games put in a system to get around Apple’s cut, Apple removed it. If Twitter were to pull a similar move, it might force Apple’s hand.

There are also other reasons why Twitter might fall afoul of Apple’s rules, including its insistence that adult content not be discoverable by default. Twitter remains one of the most prominent social networks that allows adult content, opening up gray areas for App Store delays or issues.

Apple’s App Store uses employees to review each app and update that goes on the platform. The app reviewers often send short responses highlighting issues without being explicit about what apps need to do to pass, CNBC previously reported.

Musk has tweaked Apple for years, and seems to enjoy doing so. He has complained about Apple’s app store fees in the past, although the Tesla app doesn’t allow in-app purchases. He has also sparred with Apple’s purported plan to build electric cars, although Apple’s secretive project has never shipped a car.

In 2015, Musk teased Apple saying that it only hires rejected Tesla employees and that he calls Apple the “Tesla Graveyard.”

But Musk’s moves on Monday go beyond teasing and rivalry, and suggest that he may be prepared to fight a lengthy public relations battle over Apple’s rules. In one tweet, he posted a meme in which a car veers off the highway beneath a highway signal providing two selections: “Pay 30%” and “Go to conflict.” The automobile was selecting the latter possibility.

Correction: A earlier model of this story misspelled Phillip Shoemaker’s identify.