Elon Musk ‘resolves misunderstanding’ with Apple

The Twitter boss had claimed the iPhone maker was threatening to remove the social media site from its App Store.

Elon Musk's Twitter page
Elon Musk's Twitter page

Elon Musk has said he and Apple have “resolved the misunderstanding” after the billionaire claimed the firm was threatening to remove Twitter from its App Store.

Mr Musk had accused Apple of cutting most of its advertising with the platform and claimed the iPhone maker was threatening to remove the Twitter app from the App Store without an explanation, before asking if the company “hated” free speech.

His outburst came as a number of firms paused advertising on Twitter over concerns about Mr Musk’s content moderation plans for the site.

But on Wednesday, the billionaire Tesla and SpaceX boss tweeted a short video from the tech giant’s Apple Park campus in California, and confirmed he had spoken to Apple chief executive Tim Cook.

Mr Musk said: “Good conversation. Among other things, we resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store. Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so.”

The de-escalation in tensions between the two companies came after Mr Musk spent much of Monday criticising Apple – including over the commission it charges developers for purchases made through the App Store, claiming the company was trying to censor people and that it was pulling advertising from Twitter.

Advertising revenue makes up almost all of Twitter’s income – something Mr Musk is keen to change – and has become an even more sensitive issue in recent weeks as some firms have chosen to pause their ad spend on the platform because of the Tesla boss’s approach to content moderation and his stance as a free speech “absolutist”.

That approach has raised concerns among some online safety campaigners and politicians, with a top EU official warning Mr Musk on Wednesday that Twitter needs to beef up measures to protect users from hate speech, misinformation and other harmful content to avoid violating new EU rules that threaten tech giants with big fines or even a ban in the 27-nation bloc.

Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for digital policy, told Mr Musk that the social media platform will have to significantly increase efforts to comply with the new rules, known as the Digital Services Act, set to take effect next year.

This week, it was also discovered that Twitter has quietly ended the enforcement of a policy that clamped down on Covid-19 and vaccine misinformation on the platform, a move the platform did not publicly announce, but was spotted in a note added to the policy’s webpage.

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