Musk Suggests Partisan Bias at Play as Apple Threatens to Deplatform Twitter


Twitter in Apple App Store | Image by Shutterstock

As Elon Musk continues his overhaul of newly-acquired Twitter, the tech billionaire claims that Apple has threatened to deplatform the social media company from its App Store without explanation.

However, a closer look at the culture and politics of Apple may reveal the cause and why Twitter represents an existential threat to the world’s largest company.

On November 28, Musk tweeted, “Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.”

This latest attack on Musk and his reformed Twitter is potentially the most damaging as Apple essentially serves as a gatekeeper to the millions of users of their devices through control of the applications available on its App Store.

Removal of Twitter from the App Store would severely hamper, if not cripple, the company’s ability to function, as it is estimated that there are currently 1.8 billion active Apple devices operating in the world today.

Since acquiring the social media company, Musk has been under persistent attack by organized opposition from liberals and Democrats.

In an October op-ed on Musk’s acquisition of Twitter entitled “Liberals Currently Control Twitter. That Needs to Change,” Politico’s Rich Lowry wrote, “The panic about Musk’s purchase bears a resemblance to the hysteria about the Trump administration’s repeal of net neutrality, which was supposed to bring all sorts of dire consequences that never materialized.”

“Most of the complaints about Musk are meritless and tell us more about the cluelessness or hypocrisy of his critics than his alleged perfidy,” Lowry continued. “At the end of the day, the case against him boils down to the criticism that he will allow too much unfettered speech on his social media platform, a plaint that would have made little sense to anyone a decade or so ago when the balance of center-left opinion was still robustly free speech.”

In an interesting irony, former Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich tweeted, “When multi-billionaires take control of our most vital platforms for communication, it’s not a win for free speech. It’s a win for oligarchy.”

Yet individuals like Reich who have criticized one billionaire buying Twitter from another billionaire have been completely silent on the near-monopoly Apple commands on what is available to its users on their devices through its management of its App Store.

A look at the culture and politics of Apple appear to reveal a hyper-partisan organization that almost universally supports Democratic candidates and entities. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in 2022 alone, 91.49% of all political donations from Apple employees were to these left-leaning politicians and organizations.

In 2018 that number swelled even higher to 96.49% of all Apple employee donations going to Democrats.

One Twitter user replied to Musk’s tweet on the unexplained threat from Apple with, “97.5% of Apple’s donations are to the Democratic Party. Twitter allowing free speech is against party interests so Apple must play the role of enforcer.”

The user included a chart citing data from the Center for Responsive Politics that showed that Apple is not alone in its near-universal support for Democrats and left-leaning entities.

Netflix, a streaming service recently under intense scrutiny for its far-left programming, led the charge with 99.6% of all employee donations filling Democrat coffers followed by Musk’s own Twitter at 98.7%.

Airbnb, Apple, Stripe, Lyft, Google, Salesforce, and Facebook also topped the list with totals above 94%.

Musk replied to the user, “Wow, they don’t sound biased at all!”

Lowry, in his piece, listed a number of tactics Twitter employees have utilized before Musk’s acquisition to “explicitly disadvantage conservatives,” such as squelching the Hunter Biden story before the 2020 national election, blocking the Babylon Bee, and deplatforming anyone who spoke against the conformity of the current gender fluidity movement.

As evidenced by the political donations of these employees, Musk’s vision puts him at odds with his own workforce, which has led to mass layoffs and resignations.

But Lowry argues this sea change is necessary, writing, “If we all agree that Twitter is an important public forum, its rules shouldn’t be set by a group of people who have a vested interest in vindicating their own ideological beliefs and fashionable obsessions.”

The overwhelmingly partisan people behind Apple are faced with the same existential threat by Musk’s freer Twitter and now grapple with exactly what to do. They cannot quit, as those at Twitter have, so for now, according to Musk, threats to deplatform Twitter altogether abound.

Lowry closed with, “If a more free-speech-oriented Twitter is hateful to them, they can take the advice they threw at conservatives disenchanted with the platform in recent years and go out and, ‘build their own Twitter.’”

Or as the case was with Musk, they can buy one.

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2 months ago

If Musk doesn’t like the uniform rules of the Apple Store, he can build or buy one of his own.