Musk reveals Apple has halted most of its advertising on Twitter and is allegedly threatening to pull the platform from its app store
Twitter’s CEO Elon Musk has appealed directly to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, after he publicly aired his frustration with the iPhone maker.
On Tuesday Musk in a series of tweets said “Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?”
He then accused the company of threatening to remove the platform from its app store but did not say why Apple had allegedly made such a threat.
Apple bust up?
It should be remembered that it is not Apple pulling their advertising spend with the platform.
Elon Musk has previously revealed that Twitter has seen a “massive” drop in revenue, which he blamed on activists putting pressure on advertisers.
Musk directly asked Apple’s Tim Cook “What’s going on here.”
Meanwhile Brian Tyler Cohen, a progressive political host known for curating political content online, had a pithy response to Elon Musk.
Now I know who needs to hear this. pic.twitter.com/FnVZwHfDZl
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) November 28, 2022
Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter according to the Washington Post, spending $48m on ads on Twitter in the first quarter of 2022.
It is clear that Apple’s alleged threat to pull Twitter from its App store has worried Musk, who is seeking to turn the social media app into an “everything” app that includes encrypted direct messaging and payments.
Critics meanwhile will suggest that Musk examine his actions since taking control of the platform a month ago.
Many brands halted advertising on the platform after Musk dissolved Twitter’s board of directors, fired senior management at the firm, coupled with a mass exodus of leading executives from the platform.
Musk’s championing of “free speech” and reinstating the accounts of Donald Trump, US rapper Ye (formerly known as Kanye West), and British-American former kickboxer Andrew Tate, who were both banned for breaking hate speech rules, will have also been noted by advertisers.
Twitter it should be remembered is legally obliged to remove illegal hate speech under laws in jurisdictions including the UK and the EU, and Musk has previously told EU regulators he would abide by those rules.
But Musk axed roughly half of the company’s global workforce, with hundreds more staff are understood to have resigned after he asked the remaining workers to sign up to a “hardcore” work ethic.
Musk then also gutted Twitter’s external contractor teams, whose role was to ensure the platform was free of misinformation and hate, with at least 4,400 of Twitter’s 5,500 contract workers in the US and abroad reportedly let go, without warning or notification.
Despite axing nearly all the content moderation teams, Musk at the weekend claimed that hate speech impressions and reported impersonations have fallen.
Removing checks and balances will have worried advertisers, who don’t want to risk their brands appearing alongside questionable content.
Musk concluded yesterday’s Apple bashing, and he threatened to go public with “the Twitter files on free speech suppression.”
The Twitter Files on free speech suppression soon to be published on Twitter itself. The public deserves to know what really happened …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022