Elon Musk is finding out that buying one of the most popular social networks isn’t everything he’d dreamed it would be. He brought changes to Twitter shortly after buying it and has now claimed in tweets that Apple “threatened to withhold Twitter” from the App Store.
Tip: Did you delete your Twitter account in disgust? Read on to learn how to read tweets without an account.
Musk’s Complaints on Twitter
Purchasing Twitter was a long, drawn-out process for Musk that started with him first obtaining a controlling interest in the company, then legal action when it seemed he was pulling out of the deal to purchase it. After taking over this fall, he took quick action and changed policies, fired high-ranking executives, and reinstalled former users who’d been kicked off the platform, including a former U.S. president.
All of this has not increased Musk’s popularity or Twitter’s. Many people have been closing their accounts in disgust. Apple, one of the most powerful tech companies next to Google, appears to be flexing its muscles, and Musk doesn’t like it.
Musk first tweeted on Monday, “What’s going on here @tim_cook?” calling out the Apple CEO. He followed this by tweeting, “Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?”
The Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder and CEO is known for wanting to protect free speech, which is the reason he allowed former Twitter users back on the platform. Some had used Twitter to spread fake news, which was the key to some being kicked off. One man’s fake news is another’s free speech.
Musk retweeted LBRY.COM, a digital content network. The original tweet complained that Apple made demands on LBRY.COM, insisting that its apps filter certain terms. If it didn’t apply the filters, the app wouldn’t be allowed on the App Store.
Musk was far from done. He republished a parody video Fortnite had put out during its well-publicized fight with Apple, then held a survey that asked readers to respond yes or no to “Apple should publish all censorship actions it has taken that affect its customers.” You can see above that the CEO’s followers wish ill on Apple and would like to see the tech juggernaut “punished.”
That’s when he made the claim that Apple has “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store but won’t tell us why.” It’s unclear whether “us” is Musk’s Twitter followers or the CEO and the rest of Twitter management that is still hanging on after he booted everyone else.
Musk still had one more bullet in the chamber and asked his followers if they knew that “Apple puts a secret 30% tax on everything you buy through their App Store.” Perhaps the intended audience didn’t know this, but nearly everyone else does.
How Will It End?
How will this end for Apple, Twitter, and Musk? It’s too early to tell, but Apple doesn’t lose often. Meta went against Apple in a privacy battle and lost. Apple forced apps in the App Store to divulge the data they keep on users. Meta fought it, even publishing a newspaper ad about the fight. It still lost.
But Apple is all about profit. Perhaps it feels Twitter is no longer as profitable with Musk at the helm and wants to cut its losses. Regardless, Tim Cook and his company will probably not back down to Musk’s bullying, just as it didn’t to Mark Zuckerberg.
Good to know: Looking for certain content on Twitter? Learn how to search Twitter like a pro.
All screenshots by Laura Tucker.
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