There's another reason Elon Musk is so obsessed with Tim Cook and Apple-and it's not about advertising money




 

Elon Musk is waging war against Apple.

On Monday, in a series of tweets, Musk claimed Apple has "mostly stopped" its advertising on Twitter. That's bad news, as Apple's $48 million worth of ad spending accounted for more than 4% of Twitter's revenue for the first quarter of this year, the Washington Post reported.

"Do they hate free speech in America," Musk wrote. In a separate tweet, he asked Apple's CEO, "what's going on here @tim_cook?"

Twitter has experienced an advertiser exodus since Musk took over last month, and Apple is not the only advertiser to head for the exit. Other major companies including Volkswagen, Pfizer, and General Mills have paused their ad spending. And not to mention that since his takeover, Twitter's lost half of its top 100 advertisers, according to a report from Media Matters. Musk has previously blamed the "massive drop in revenue" on activist groups pressuring advertisers.

But for all of Musk's fighting words about Apple pulling its Twitter ads, there's a much bigger problem looming over the relationship between both companies.

Musk tweeted on Monday that Apple has "threatened to withhold" Twitter from its App Store. Apple has not confirmed this, but there has been widespread speculation that such a decision would be related to Musk's moves to gut Twitter's content moderation team, something that human rights groups have warned risks making the platform party to harassment and abuse.

Apple is a major arbiter of content on the internet by the way it decides which apps are available to iPhone users. A few years ago, Apple was reportedly considering kicking Uber off the App Store for breaking Apple's rules. If that happened, it would have effectively destroyed the company-people wouldn't be able to call for an Uber on their iPhones.

Twitter's former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, who quit soon after Musk took over, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times outlining what could happen at a post-Musk takeover of Twitter, particularly in terms of Musk's self-proclaimed devotion to "free speech." Along with advertisers and regulators, Roth specifically cited Google and Apple as powerful forces that Twitter must contend with in terms of how it handles its content moderation.

"Failure to adhere to Apple's and Google's guidelines would be catastrophic, risking Twitter's expulsion from their app stores and making it more difficult for billions of potential users to get Twitter's services," Roth wrote. "This gives Apple and Google enormous power to shape the decisions Twitter makes."

On Tuesday, in response to investor David Sacks calling Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon "gatekeepers," Musk tweeted that "it's a real problem."

"Apple and Google effectively control access to most of the Internet via their app stores," he said.

Twitter did not immediately respond to Fortune's request for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to Fortune's request for comment.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

The American middle class is at the end of an era

Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto empire 'was run by a gang of kids in the Bahamas' who all dated each other

The 5 most common mistakes lottery winners make

Sick with a new Omicron variant? Be prepared for this symptom

COMMENTS

More Related News

The House GOP
The House GOP's investigations: A field guide

From the Justice Department to Hunter Biden to the coronavirus, the Republican majority is casting a wide net. It all begins this week.

Megyn Kelly Mocked On Twitter For Having A Meltdown Over Jill Biden
Megyn Kelly Mocked On Twitter For Having A Meltdown Over Jill Biden's Title

The conservative commentator was triggered by the smallest thing.

3 people injured in late night crash on McKees Rocks Bridge
3 people injured in late night crash on McKees Rocks Bridge
  • US
  • 2023-01-29 17:20:59Z

At least three people were injured in a late night car crash on the McKees Rocks Bridge.

Trump
Trump's Evolution in Social Media Exile: More QAnon, More Extremes

In September, former President Donald Trump went on Truth Social, his social network, and shared an image of himself wearing a lapel pin in the form of the...

Tesla trial: did Musk
Tesla trial: did Musk's tweet affect the firm's stock price? Experts weigh in

Legal and finance experts say the car company's attorneys face an 'uphill battle' to prove the billionaire's tweets had no impact on shares

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy