Elon Musk’s relaxed stance on Twitter’s content moderation may finally be catching up to him as the “Chief Twit” unleashed a barrage of tweets claiming Apple threatened to kick the platform off its App Store.
On Monday, Musk tweeted that Apple “had threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store” but refused to say why.
Apple’s App Store is the only way in which iPhone users can download Twitter onto their phones. If Apple followed through on its alleged threat, Twitter would lose a large portion of its user base, CNBC reports.
In more tweets posted on Monday, Musk called Apple’s App Store fees a “secret 30% tax” and ran a poll with his 119m followers asking if “Apple should publish all censorship actions it has taken that affect its customers.”
He added that “Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter” and ended the barrage with a meme stating he would rather “go to war” with the tech giant than pay its commission.
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Critics have spoken out against Musk, claiming that his “controversial public image” has begun to catch up to him.
“Musk’s controversial public image and weak stance on content moderation are catching up [to him],” Rachel Foster Jones, associate analyst at GlobalData, told Verdict.
“Brands will not want to risk their reputation and on a platform where harmful content may spread.”
Apple was the biggest advertiser on Twitter in this year’s first quarter. It is estimated that the tech giant spent $48m on advertising on the social media platform, accounting for 4% of Twitter’s total revenue during that period, Sky News reported.
Dan O’Dowd, founder of anti-Tesla self-driving safety campaign and critic of Musk, stated that the Twitter owner’s tweets demonstrate his “petulance and childness” at responding “to valid criticism with spiteful personal attacks.”
O’Dowd says that Musk’s insults are symptomatic of Twitter’s problems, including reinstating banned accounts, which is causing major advertisers to cut ties with Twitter.