Elon Musk goes to war against the almighty Apple

Elon Musk goes to war against the almighty Apple

Elon Musk, Twitter’s owner for a month, declared “war” on Apple on Monday, having already put the social network in a dangerous position by alienating advertisers, (former) employees and regulators.

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The tempestuous billionaire assured that Apple “threatened” to withdraw the social network from its application store, essential on the iPhone.

“Apple has threatened to remove Twitter from their App Store, but they refuse to tell us why,” said the Twitter chief, after a series of tweets accusing the Apple brand of censorship and abuse of dominance.

“Apple basically stopped advertising on Twitter. Do you hate freedom of expression in the United States?” He launched in particular, before challenging the leader of the Californian group in these terms: “What is happening Tim Cook?”

“Is Apple threatening the availability of Twitter in the App Store or making requirements for content moderation?” a user asked Elon Musk, who answered “yes”.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request from AFP.

Elon Musk has posted a meme (parody image) depicting a car named “Elon” taking a freeway exit in the direction of “declare war”, instead of heading straight towards “pay 30%”, the commission of ‘Apple on user spending through the App Store.

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

His approach is scaring off many brands, from General Motors to Pfizer, who have suspended their ads on the platform. However, Twitter’s billing depends on 90% of advertising revenue.

According to the Washington Post, in the first quarter of this year, Apple was the largest advertiser on the network, spending $48 million, or more than 4% of quarterly revenue.

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

The two giants can ban any app that doesn’t respect their content rules, often quite vague, with “catastrophic” consequences for that app, Yoel Roth, former Twitter security chief, explained ten days ago.

“Apple and Google have enormous power over the decisions that Twitter makes,” he summarized in an editorial published by the New York Times.

Its representatives “regularly raise their objections to certain content,” he said, leading “to delaying projects and causing crises that can last for weeks or months.”

Elon Musk, who has fired more than half of Twitter’s staff, already faces many strategic problems, but seems determined to goad Apple.

“Apple’s secret suppression of free speech. The clients were never informed. What the hell is this?,” he tweeted to her in response to a message from another account, accusing Apple of Covid-themed censorship.

He then vowed to publish “Twitter files” (a term for documents revealed by whistleblowers) soon, about the “suppression of free speech,” because “the public deserves to know what really happened.”

“Did you know that Apple has a 30% secret tax on everything you buy through their App Store?” he asked.

Many app publishers, led by Epic Games (Fortnite), have publicly stood up in recent years to the 15-30% commission that Apple and Google charge for spending through their app stores.

Elon Musk also streamed a video of Epic Games, which heavily lost its first battle against Apple in court, comparing the iPhone maker to the dictatorship in the novel “1984.”

Your proposed subscription of $8 per month, for additional features and profile authentication, will be affected by the commission.

“The new battle between Musk and Apple is not what investors want to see,” reacted Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities.

“The market wants less drama, not more,” the analyst continued, “while every day a new act arrives on Twitter to encourage investors betting on Tesla on the downside.”

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