Home Business & Economy ‘Hate Free Speech?’ Elon Musk Targets Apple Over Advertising On Twitter

‘Hate Free Speech?’ Elon Musk Targets Apple Over Advertising On Twitter

Musk's claim that Twitter has mostly stopped advertising on the platform comes after several companies stopped spending on Twitter amid concerns about Musk's content moderation plans for the site

by News Desk
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Twitter chief Elon Musk on Monday said Apple has stopped most of its advertising on the social media platform and accused the company of threatening to withdraw the platform from its app store. In a tweet, Musk questioned if the iPhone maker hates free speech saying, “Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?”

In a series of Tweets, he also claimed that Apple has threatened to remove the platform from its app store. “Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why,” Musk wrote.

The alleged move can prove to be detrimental to the company Musk just acquired for $44 billion.

“What’s going on here?” Musk asked the Apple CEO Tim Cook.


Earlier in November, Musk noted that the platform witnessed a “massive” drop in revenue and blamed activist groups for pressuring advertisers.

Musk also published a Twitter poll asking users for a “Yes” or “No”. “Apple should publish all censorship actions it has taken that affect its customers,” he tweeted.

The new chief also tweeted a 1984 novel parody video that Fortnite made “calling out Apple’s monopoly” and captioned it ‘Accurate’.

The accusations come after several companies halted spending on Twitter amid concerns about Musk’s content moderation plans for the site. General Mills and luxury automaker Audi of America halted advertising since Musk acquired the platform while General Motors said it had temporarily stopped paid advertising on the social media platform, reported BBC.

The new chief also went on to target Apple for “censorship” and called out the 30 per cent transaction fee Apple charges large app developers to be listed in its app store.

The accusations once again highlight the differences between Musk and Apple, which along with Google serves as the major gatekeepers for mobile applications. Earlier before acquiring Twitter, the Tesla CEO said that when the car company was struggling, he considered selling it to Apple, but Cook refused to take a meeting with him.

In case the app is removed from Apple’s app store, or that of Google, it would undermine Twitter’s business, which is already burdened with a loss of advertisers following Musk’s takeover and a weak attempt to expand its subscription business.

The iPhone maker has earlier also expressed motive to remove apps from its app store over concerns about their ability to moderate harmful content or if they attempt to circumvent the cut Apple takes from in-app purchases and subscriptions.

In its official app store review guidelines, Apple lists various safety parameters that apps must adhere to in order to be included in the store, including an ability to prevent “content that is offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust, in exceptionally poor taste, or just plain creepy” such as hate speech, pornography and terrorism.

“If you’re looking to shock and offend people, the App Store isn’t the right place for your app,” the guidelines state.

Apple spent around $131,600 on Twitter ads between November 10 and November 16, down from $220,800 between October 16 and October 22, the week before Musk closed the Twitter acquisition, according to ad measurement firm Pathmatics, according to Reuters.

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