Elon Musk suddenly backflips on ‘war’ threat to Apple

Elon Musk has backflipped on his threat to “go to war” with Apple, revealing he had met up with the tech company’s CEO and sorted out the dispute.

It seems the ongoing beef between Musk and Apple CEO Tim Cook has finally been resolved, with the Twitter CEO sharing a post thanking Cook for “taking me around Apple’s beautiful HQ”.

He claimed the pair had a “good conversation” and “resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store”.

Musk said the Apple CEO made it clear that his company had “never considered” removing Twitter from the App Store.

Earlier this week, the Tesla founder lashed out at Apple in a series of tweets, accusing the company of halting almost all its advertising on Twitter and threatening to withhold the social media app from its App Store.

“Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?” Musk first tweeted.

He then tagged Cook and asked: “What’s going on here?”

The tech billionaire asked Twitter users “who else” Apple had censored and then launched a yes/no poll: “Apple should publish all censorship actions it has taken that affect its customers.”

Among other tweets about free speech and levies on App Store purchases, Musk wrote: “Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.”

Musk also shared a meme, in a now-deleted post, seemingly declaring “war” on Apple.

Apple can charge companies like Twitter for in-app purchases, meaning the tech giant could take up to 30 per cent of the money from Twitter Blue’s monthly subscription fee.

Musk she shared a meme to Twitter showing two options: “pay 30%” or “go to war”. In the image, a car labelled “Elon” was driving towards the war option.

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Musk facing backlash from major advertisers

Musk has been dealing with backlash from a number of major advertisers after making a series of controversial moves since his Twitter takeover.

He purchased the social media app for $US44 billion ($A66 billion) back in October after spending months trying to wriggle out of the deal.

The Tesla founder sparked global outrage after aggressively sacking thousands of employees and announcing a “general amnesty” for all suspended accounts, which means some of the most controversial right-wing figures will return to Twitter.

He also copped major backlash after introducing strict new rules for the remaining Twitter staff, prompting even more employees to abandon the company.

One of his latest controversial moves has been reversing Twitter’s Covid misleading information policy, revealing it would no longer be enforced.

The policy involved Twitter removing or annotating “potentially harmful and misleading information” about Covid.

As of September, Twitter said it had suspended 11,230 accounts and removed 97,674 pieces of content under the policy.

Examples of tweets provided that went against the policy included “social distancing is not effective”, “Covid-19 does not infect children”, “5G causes coronavirus” and “avoid businesses owned by Chinese people as they are more likely to have Covid-19”.

Facebook and Instagram, both owned by Meta, and TikTok, owned by ByteDance, all have policies relating to Covid-19 misinformation.

Apple’s media agency Omnicom Media Group recommended earlier this month that its clients, which also include McDonald’s and PepsiCo, pause spending on Twitter due to “brand safety concerns”, according to an internal memo obtained by The Verge.

A slew of big advertisers have already turned their backs on Twitter, including General Motors, Volkswagen, Pfizer and General Mills.

Many other companies have deactivated their accounts.

Advertising makes up 90 per cent of Twitter’s current revenue.

In one of the latest roadblocks facing Twitter, Musk announced he was “holding off” on the reinstatement of the controversial Twitter Blue subscription service.

Revamped and relaunched shortly after his takeover of the company, Twitter Blue allowed users to add a blue check mark next to their profile – previously used only to verify the identity of notable people or organisations – for $12 ($US8) a month.

Musk said allowing people to buy blue ticks would be a “great leveller”.

However, as many predicted, when the new Twitter Blue went active, nefarious users began impersonating people and organisations who had the verified tick.

The new Twitter Blue was pulled after a chaotic few days, with service moderators unable to keep up with the onslaught of fake tweets and accounts.

“Holding off relaunch of Blue Verified until there is high confidence of stopping impersonation,” Musk said.

“Will probably use different colour check for organisations than individuals.”

After halting Twitter Blue, Musk originally announced the purchasable blue check marks would be back by around by November 18.

That deadline has also now slipped, with no indication of when Twitter Blue might return.

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