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Elon Musk Says Apple 'Threatened to Withhold Twitter' From App Store

In a series of Tweets sent on Monday, still-new Twitter boss Elon Musk had some questions for Apple, Inc., including why the company had ceased its advertising on the Twitter platform. "What's going on here?" Musk tweeted at his Apple counterpart Tim Cook before launching into a tweet storm putting Apple and its leaders on blast.

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In a subsequent tweet, Musk claimed that Apple had, in the wake of his hostile takeover, "threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store" — a development which would pose a significant challenge to Twitter — but that no reasoning for such a decision had been given. 

While Apple has not, according to Musk, explained its concerns regarding Twitter, many users pointed out that one reason Apple may be showing hostility toward Twitter is because of the changes Musk has made to allow more freedom of expression while ceasing to be a political weapon dedicated to advancing Democrat priorities. 

Now that Twitter cannot be relied upon to censor stories such as Hunter Biden's laptop from hell or suspend/ban conservative personalities, it seems as though Apple may be stepping in to do what's necessary to maintain the left's control over online speech by threatening to deplatform Twitter. 

Musk reacted to a chart that's previously made the rounds on social media showing the ideological homogeneity of political donations by big tech employees, offering another potential reason why Apple may be acting as Twitter used to before Musk took over by limiting the reach and visibility of those not pushing the Democrat narrative.

Other app creators shared their experiences with Apple's attempt to control the content provided by apps in its store, including by censoring search inquiry terms to prevent some information from being displayed entirely.

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Musk also again highlighted the terms of using Apple's App Store for distribution that include what Musk simplified to be something of a "secret 30% tax on everything bought" from their app distribution platform in fees that Apple collects from its most-prolific app sellers. 

Whether Apple is seriously considering removing Twitter from its App Store or just doing some saber-rattling to show Musk that they mean business ahead of any future conversations, some users noted that Apple's Phil Schiller — who oversees the App Store — had deactivated his Twitter account last week after the platform reinstated former President Donald Trump's account.

What's more, Apple has shows its willingness to remove similar apps from its distribution platform before. In January, 2021, Apple — along with Google — removed the Parler social networking app from its App Store, a suspension that lasted until mid-May when Apple again allowed Parler to be downloaded via its app platform. 

The Verge reminded in a report that Apple CEO Tim Cook told CBS News earlier this month that Musk had assured Apple that Twitter would "continue to moderate" content, something Cook said he was "counting on" them continuing to do. But what Apple considers to be content moderation could be very different from what Musk implements for Twitter as he pursues "amnesty" for those who've previously had their accounts suspended or banned. 

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However, when it comes to Apple's ability to pontificate, their recent iOS update for handsets in China showed them to again be doing the work of the Chinese Communist Party in limiting the ability of iPhone users in China to share files device-to-device, one way dissidents had been successful in circumventing China's censors and control over the internet. 

So, while Apple comes to the aid of China's genocidal government, it's simultaneously supposedly worried about allowing Twitter to be distributed via its App Store. Seems a bit daft, no? Perhaps it's time for Musk to expand his electric vehicle, space, and social media businesses to include producing smartphones of his own.

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