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Elon Musk tries to start a Twitter fight with Apple

Elon Musk claims Apple has threatened to withhold Twitter from the App Store and that the iPhone maker won't say why.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on
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Getty/Anadolu Agency

Elon Musk has attempted to start a Twitter tussle with Apple, claiming the iPhone giant threatened to withhold Twitter from the App Store.

In a series of tweets Musk said Apple 'puts a secret 30% tax on everything you buy through their App Store' and said Apple has threatened to "withhold" Twitter from the App Store. Apple does charge between 15 and 30% for in-app purchases, but this cost is well known and not a secret. 

Musk also says Apple has "mostly stopped advertising on Twitter". "Do they hate free speech in America?" he asked in one tweet. "What's going on here @tim_cook?" Musk asked Apple chief Tim Cook in another. 

Musk has published a survey on Twitter asking his 119 million followers whether Apple should publish every instance of censorship that have affected its customers. Musk said that "Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won't tell us why." 

Neither Tim Cook nor Apple has apparently responded to Musk's Twitter storm.

The response from Musk's followers is overwhelmingly in the affirmative (84%) that Apple should disclose these details. 

Via The Verge, CBS News asked Tim Cook earlier this month whether Twitter could change in a way that would cause Apple to remove it from the App Store. 

"You know they say that they're going to continue to moderate, so I count on them to do that. Because I don't think anyone wants hate speech on their platform," said Cook. 

When Musk announced his intent to buy Twitter in April, he said: "Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated." 

Musk ran another survey last week asking whether Twitter should offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, if the individuals behind them had not broken the law or engaged in spam. After votes came in, Musk said he would follow through with the amnesty this week. 

Twitter's former head of safety Yoel Roth recently wrote in the New York Times that Twitter failing to adhere to Apple's and Google's respective app store guidelines "would be catastrophic".  

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