The rancor between Twitter CEO Elon Musk and Apple honcho Tim Cook has been fairly obvious lately. One of the more shocking allegations made by Musk was that Apple was considering pulling Twitter from its app store, effectively killing the platform. That’s why I was rather surprised when I saw some tweets from Musk yesterday suggesting that he was visiting Cook, taking a tour of the Apple facilities, and “working things out.”
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.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 30, 2022
It looks as though the story was true and at least a temporary cease-fire has been called in the ongoing hostilities. Musk claims that he was assured that Apple hadn’t even been thinking about pulling Twitter from the app store, though the company still remains concerned over content moderation (censorship) questions. (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
Mr. Musk, the new owner of Twitter, said in a set of tweets Wednesday that he had met with the Apple chief executive.
“Good conversation,” Mr. Musk wrote. “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 suggestion of a detente was first raised when Mr. Musk tweeted a video that appeared to be taken in the parklike setting on the grounds of the Apple headquarters. The missive came just two days after the new Twitter boss launched attacks on the iPhone maker’s App Store and advertising.
All of the information we have regarding this development seems to be coming from Elon Musk. Apple hasn’t released any official corporate statements at this point and they declined to comment on it for the Wall Street Journal. But at the same time, they aren’t denying that any of this happened either.
The assurances that Tim Cook provided don’t really mean much at this point. Even if he states that his company hadn’t been considering pulling Twitter from the app store and have no plans to do so, those plans could change tomorrow. But as the WSJ goes on to point out, both sides get a lot out of their relationship so they would each have plenty to lose if they go to war. But at the same time, we already know that Apple is deeply invested in the censorship game and supports the White House in trying to squelch unapproved speech. I doubt this story is over just yet.
At the same time, Musk is looking at other troubles coming over the horizon. The EU is threatening to ban Twitter from all of Europe if previous content moderation policies aren’t put back in place. (Reuters)
The European Union has threatened Elon Musk’s Twitter with a ban unless the billionaire abides by its strict rules on content moderation, setting up a regulatory battle over the future of the social media platform, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
Twitter and the EU did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
So the socialists at the European Union are upset that people might be able to tweet comments that are unflattering to them. What a pity. You’d think that the people who once had to live under the oppression of the Nazis would be a little more open to the idea of free speech, wouldn’t you?
Let’s keep in mind that the EU isn’t looking to squash any specific content they find “harmful.” They’re seeking to block even the possibility that someone might express a banned thought in the digital public square. And they expect Elon Musk to dutifully take up that role. Of course, we probably shouldn’t be too surprised by that. They probably grew used to the previous management doing precisely that without any objections. But I get the feeling that they are in for some surprises if they think they can push Elon Musk around in the same fashion.