Elon Musk Claims Apple ‘Threatened to Withhold’ Twitter From App Store

The Chief Twit also pointed out the tech giant’s pulling back from advertising on the social media platform

Elon Musk at Time Person of the Year 2021
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Twitter CEO and owner Elon Musk tweeted that Apple has threatened to withhold the social media platform from its app store for reasons yet to be revealed.

According to The Verge, “withhold” could mean a temporary delay in an app update for Twitter or the more final outcome of taking it off the app store altogether. 

This claim follows Musk’s tweet earlier Monday that Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. “Do they hate free speech in America?” the CEO asked in his earlier post. Monday also saw Musk’s sharing of a fake CNN headline flagged by Twitter’s own fact-checker.

Apple App Store boss Phil Schiller deleted his Twitter account after Musk bought the social media outlet for $44 billion. Schiller’s exit also occurred around the time Musk reactivated former president Donald Trump’s account. 

Previously, Musk has expressed disapproval of Apple’s App Store in-app purchase fee, calling it a “hidden 30% tax” on the internet.

Twitter has outlasted other social media apps in terms of content moderationl. Adult content, which still runs rampant on the app, has received restriction requests from Apple in the post in order to remain available on the App Store. Such content includes racial slurs and certain inappropriate hashtags like that of “boobs,” according to former Twitter exectuive Yoel Roth’s New York Times opinion guest essay.

Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasized his desire for Musk to continue to moderate potentially offensive content, though Musk touted his goal to loosen guidelines around Twitter expression.

His reinstatement of several previously banned personas, like the 45th U.S. president, on the outlet reflect this reversal.

Apple follows at least 50 of the top 100 Twitter advertisers — including Ford, Jee and Chevrolet — who pulled ads from the platform, according to Media Matters. Ford and GM paused their ad campaigns the first day of Musk’s takeover. Advertisers that quit more quietly include AT&T, Coca-Cola and American Express.