Elon Musk’s Twitter blues aren’t over yet, but many people are wondering if the self-titled Chief Twit has bitten off more than he can chew with his latest beef: this time with tech giant Apple.
Musk claims that Apple Inc. reduced its advertising on the social media platform and is contemplating the removal of its mobile app from the App Store. In a series of tweets posted on Monday, November 28th, Musk expressed criticism of the fees Apple charges on downloads from the app store.
The tech mogul also demanded an answer as to whether or not Apple was in favor of free speech, and whether it was in a position to come after Tesla Inc., his EV manufacturing firm.
A Muddled State of Affairs
In his online tirade, Musk asked Twitter users if they were aware that Apple charged them an additional 30% “secret” tax on all purchases made through the App Store. This, according to industry watchers, throws a wrench into Musk’s plan to collect additional revenue from users through subscriptions.
He further declared that Apple was hinting about removing Twitter from its downloads market but would give him no reason as to why.
Prior to Musk’s takeover of the social media company, Apple was one of the largest sources of ad revenue for Twitter. The tech company is said to have spent over $48 million in online advertising on the platform in the first quarter alone.
The erratic mogul went so far as to say that his issues with Apple were, essentially, a battle for the future of civilization; he claimed that, if free speech is prohibited on social media, tyranny would not be far behind.
However, Yoel Roth, former head of public security for Twitter, pointed out in a recent op-ed for The New York Times that both Apple and Google (this one through its online store Google Play) prohibit certain forms of content, including hate speech and unfounded conspiracy theories, in order to ensure the online safety of users.
Roth went on to say that by allowing such inflammatory material on Twitter would have been catastrophic to the business, hence the bans imposed against the likes of Donald Trump and a number of right-wing activists.
Not the Only One
But if Musk feels he has a bone to pick with Apple, he’d better get in line: Twitter isn’t the only company that has issues with the tech company and its policies for third-party apps on its App Store.
Audio streaming platform Spotify filed a case against Apple for allegedly anticompetitive behavior after it rejected the former’s audiobooks app thrice. Likewise, Epic Games is still in the middle of a case with the tech company due to the way it has been forced to use Apple’s proprietary in-app payment system.