Elon Musk is picking a fight with Apple, and no, it has got nothing to do with free speech- Technology News, Firstpost
Mehul Reuben DasNov 29, 2022 11:13:19 IST
Elon Musk is picking up a fight, and while he may be cloaking it as an issue of free speech in America, it really isn’t. Yes, Apple and Google have flagged Twitter for issues with content moderation on the platform, but Musk’s main gripe with Google and Apple has got very little to do with that.
Elon Musk started tweeting out about Apple after it was found that Apple has suspended its ad spends on the platform. This is a significant concern for Twitter and Elon Musk given that Apple was one of the biggest advertisers on the social media platform. The thing is, Apple isn’t the only company that has suspended its ad spends on the platform. However, given that it was one of the largest spenders on the platform, that too by a mile, is surely hurting Twitter and Musk.
Then, there’s the fact that Apple and Google have issued warnings to Twitter over its content moderation practices. Developers who want to list their apps on Apple’s App store or Google’s PlayStore need to comply with some basic standards of content moderation on the platform and ensure that the platform deals with incendiary and bigoted speech in a proper manner.
The terms of the agreement are pretty vague, but it is usually understood that apps need to ensure that they take action against individuals using their apps who disturb peace, something that Twitter doesn’t seem to be interested in, given that it has started reinstating profiles that got banned before. This is the main reason why Apple has warned Twitter that it may pull the app off of its App store.
Musk is also targeting Apple for the 30 per cent commission that they charge on transactions that are done through their App Store.
Apple charges a 30 per cent commission on all transactions that users do with apps through the Apple App Store, which make over $1 million a year. Apple has been doing this for a long time, and has faced lawsuits from other developers and game studios as well, so this can’t be the first time that Elon Musk has heard of something like this. Google does the same the thing apps that are listed on their PlayStore.
Basically, Elon Musk doesn’t want Twitter to pay the 30 per cent commission that all other major apps that make over $1 million do.
Although it remains unconfirmed why Apple is allegedly threatening to “withhold” Twitter from the App Store, tweets and Musk’s comments indicate that it might stem from the social media platform’s new moderation policy to safeguard “free speech”.
Apple is yet to confirm these claims; however, this is not the first time the iPhone maker threatened to remove an app from its App Store. For instance, it removed Parler – a Twitter alternative – from its App Store following the US Capitol building riots early last year. The app was restored in May 2021 after Parler updated its content and moderation practices.
As much as Musk may try to portray that Apple is against free speech, the reality is that Twitter, with its recent activities around content moderation and charging a fee for Twitter’s Verified Programme and then not wanting to pay a commission is just trying to get his followers to turn on Apple and pressure them to make an exception for Twitter. Musk is also trying to cajole his users to put pressure on Apple to resume their ad spends on the platform.
It remains to be seen if Musk truly believes that this will work, given how litigious Apple has been to protect their commission from their App Store. Moreover, Musk cannot possibly believe that he and his legion of followers can pressurise Apple to advertise on the platform.