Elon Musk is starting a Twitter war of words with one of the social media app’s most important partners: Apple.
On Monday, Mr Musk claimed Apple was considering booting Twitter from its App Store, which would be a massive hit to the social media site.
“Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why,” Mr Musk tweeted.
Earlier in the day, Mr Musk highlighted other apparent tensions with Apple, claiming that “Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter” and suggesting they “hate free speech in America.”
The Independent has contacted Apple for comment.
Mr Musk has previously criticised the app store, claiming in a tweet earlier this month that its fees are “obviously too high” and amount to a “duopoly” of Apple and Android using their market control to enforce a “hidden 30% tax on the Internet.”
Those criticisms heated up on Monday, with Mr Musk seeming to imply in yet another tweet he would rather “go to war” than continue paying such a fee.
Earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook told CBS News that he had his eye on how Twitter was handling content moderation now that Musk is at the helm. Apple imposes moderation standards limiting apps that feature inflammatory and adult content from accessing its app store.
“They say that they are going to continue to moderate,” Mr Cook said. “I’m counting on them to continue to do that.”
In an op-ed in The New York Times earlier this month, Yoel Roth, the former head of trust and safety at Twitter, described the complicated balancing act of Twitter maintaining its reputation as open forum and occasional home of adult content, and keeping its place in the Apple ecosystem.
“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,” he wrote. “This gives Apple and Google enormous power to shape the decisions Twitter makes. Twitter will have to balance its new owner’s goals against the practical realities of life on Apple’s and Google’s internet — no easy task for the employees who have chosen to remain.”
Mr Musk has announced plans to let numerous accounts that were previously banned from Twitter back on the platform.
He’s already started with one of the most polarising accounts, that of former president Donald Trump, who was kicked off the site for inciting violence after January 6.