Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced Monday that Apple is threatening to remove the Twitter app from the App Store.
In an early afternoon Tweet, Musk delivered the news to a field of shocked replies:
Musk said Apple did not communicate the reason for the possible “de-listing” from the proprietary app sales marketplace.
Earlier in the day, Elon also announced Apple had stopped advertising on the Twitter platform.
Musk ran a poll on whether or not Apple should “publish all censorship actions it has taken that affect its customers. At the time of publication, the poll is still ongoing with “Yes” having a substantial lead over the “No” position. Over 2 million votes have been cast as of 9:40 am Eastern time.
A user asked Musk to clarify whether Apple was threatening Twitter’s presence on the App Store or if the phone company was making content moderation demands – to which Musk replied, “Yes.”
Musk capped off a day of original tweets with a final, broader message of the importance of free speech in America.
This is not the first time Apple has threatened a social media platform with de-platforming. Gab Social was rejected from the App store in 2016 under the false pretense that it includes “pornographic content”, even though pornography is explicitly banned in the Terms of Service. Gab CEO Andrew Torba believed at the time this was a double standard being applied.
“The double standards of Silicon Valley are on full display with this app store rejection from Apple,” said Torba in an email to Breitbart Tech. “Apps like Tumblr, Reddit, and Twitter are flooded with pornographic content and allowed to remain on the App store.”Gab CEO Andrew Torba on Breitbart.com
Platform access has become a huge topic in the overall free speech discussion. It’s one thing to have an independent social media website, but if a hosting App Store or software marketplace has an ideological beef with your product – you will be blacklisted. .
Big Tech has always been very liberal (see data on big tech’s political donations to Democrats). However, the tactic of both on-platform censorship (i.e. banning President Trump from Twitter) and off-platform censorship (i.e. keeping Gab from the App Store) is a relatively new phenomenon. While users have been banned on platforms like Twitter and Google going back to 2015, big tech drove the screws into the user base after 2020, especially after January 6th, 2021.
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