Elon Musk Says Apple Threatening To Withhold Twitter From App Store

Elon Musk says Apple Inc. is threatening to withhold Twitter from its App Store. Chief Twit says Apple has yet to give a reason why.

Earlier Monday, Musk also revealed Apple has “mostly stopped” advertising on Twitter since his takeover in October.

Speculation that Apple could threaten to use its powers against Twitter arose last week when Apple executive Phil Schiller, who heads the App Store, deleted his Twitter account. Schiller removed his page shortly after Musk reinstated Donald Trump on the service.

It’s unclear what Apple “withholding” the app would entail. The company could either reject updates to the app or remove Twitter for iPhone and iPad users entirely.

Either way, here’s a tech company attempting to strongarm a lower-scale platform into obeying censorship commands.

Apple hopes to warn Musk that it can cripple any platform that dares to adopt a free speech-first policy. The Apple App Store is crucial to the distribution of any mainstream apps. A service could not maintain reach without an app readily available for iOS users.

For example: Apple dismantling the app would force users to turn to the inconvenient mobile web version, one that does not include phone notifications.

Elon Musk has paused Twitter Blue subscription service
Twitter Blue’s subscription service has been suspended

Apple took a similar approach to the conservative social media service Parler in 2020. The tech tyrants removed the Parler app following Jan. 6, sparking a similar reaction from Google’s Android App Store and Amazon Web Services

Apple, Google, and Amazon have a stranglehold on the internet and the unilateral power of dictating content moderation.

Thereby Elon Musk has vowed to create a new phone should Apple and Google ban Twitter.

“I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone,” Musk tweeted on Friday.

However, combating speech restrictions wouldn’t end there. It appears one might have to create an entire alternative tech universe just to allow users to speak freely on the internet.

Ben Shapiro warned of that possibility in an interview with OutKick in 2021:

“You could theoretically create an alternative [internet], and it certainly should be done. I mean, obviously, if you don’t like doing business with someone, you have the ability to start another company. But here’s part of the problem: when conservatives have done that, the Left has just moved on to more fertile and more dangerous grounds.

“For example, Parler was created as an end-around to Twitter. And then after January 6, Amazon Web Services, which is supposedly a neutral service provider, just de-platformed Parler. So now, the idea would have to be to build my own Amazon Web Services. Well, now you’re talking billions of dollars in the enterprise. Those businesses were built long ago. Amazon Web Services represents like 40% of all data services in the United States. So you go from creating an alternative to Twitter to now having to create web services.

“In order to even compete at the top level of the iceberg, you have to rebuild from the bottom of the iceberg. That is a pretty systemic disadvantage, which is of course why conservatives keep fighting back on two grounds.”

All of this is because tech overlords so gravely fear people who think differently.

“Do they hate free speech in America?” Musk asked of Apple.

Apparently so.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

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