Elon Musk Says Apple Has Threatened to Withhold Twitter From App Store as Battle for Free Speech Escalates
Tech giant Apple has threatened to withhold Twitter from its app store, according to Tesla CEO and Twitter chief Elon Musk. The billionaire added: “This is a battle for the future of civilization. If free speech is lost even in America, tyranny is all that lies ahead.”
Apple’s Threat to Musk and Twitter
The battle for free speech has escalated for Elon Musk and his newly acquired social media company as Apple has threatened to withhold Twitter from its app store, Tesla CEO and Twitter chief Elon Musk revealed Monday, noting that Apple will not say why.
In a follow-up tweet, Musk confirmed that Apple is “making moderation demands.”
According to reports, Apple was one of Twitter’s top advertisers, spending more than $100 million per year advertising on the social media platform. However, Musk tweeted Monday:
Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?
Replying to Musk asking who else has been withheld by Apple, blockchain firm LBRY shared: “During Covid, Apple demanded our apps filter some search terms from being returned. If we did not filter the terms, our apps would not be allowed in the store. Apple may make good products, but they have been opposed to free speech for some time.” The company added, “Apple disallowed almost anything related to Covid, especially vaccines or human origins of the virus,” elaborating:
We had to build a list of over 20 terms to not show results for, only on Apple devices. Apple also later rejected us because users included Pepe images in videos.
In addition, Musk tweeted: “Did you know Apple puts a secret 30% tax on everything you buy through their App Store?” According to Apple’s website, the company takes a 30% “processing” fee from all sales made through its in-app purchase system.
As the free speech discussion intensified, a Twitter user warned Musk: “Is this really a fight we want to pick? An awful lot of your Tesla customers use iOS to access their cars … if that app gets pulled, it’ll significantly impact your ability to sell to Apple customers.” Musk replied: “Are you suggesting Apple would use its duopolist powers to hurt Tesla?”
Battle for Free Speech Intensifies
As the free speech discussion deepened, Musk tweeted that if free speech is lost in the U.S. then tyranny is all that lies ahead, stressing that this is a battle for the future of civilization.
The Tesla executive asked in another tweet: “Why are so many in the media against free speech? This is messed up.”
Many people joined in the free speech thread. “Monopolies should be subject to the same limits we placed on our government in the Bill of Rights,” the pro-bitcoin CEO of Microstrategy, Michael Saylor, opined. “Make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Musk agreed, tweeting: “Absolutely, especially if done in collusion with the government.”
Musk said Friday that he will make an alternative phone if Apple and Google boot Twitter from their app stores.
What do you think about Apple threatening to withhold Twitter from its app store and Elon Musk’s fight for free speech? Let us know in the comments section below.