DeSantis, the governor of Florida, criticized Apple on Tuesday for Elon Musk’s claims that the company threatened to remove Twitter from its App Store. He also criticized Apple for its history of cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party.
DeSantis jumped to Musk’s defense hours after the billionaire CEO of Twitter said that Apple threatened to remove Twitter from its App Store but refused to explain why. Musk also said that Apple, formerly one of Twitter’s largest advertisers, had recently reduced its ad spending.
In response, the Republican governor said that Musk’s decision to reinstate thousands of banned Twitter accounts may have played a role in Apple’s alleged actions and that the federal government should scrutinize the company’s response.
DeSantis stated that if Apple responded by removing the apps from the App Store, it would be a big, tremendous error and a “raw exercise of monopolistic power” that would demand a reaction from the United States Congress.
DeSantis continued to scold Apple by saying not to be a vassal of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on the one side and then use your corporate power in the United States to suffocate Americans and limit their right to express themselves. By blocking usage of its Airdrop function in China, where protests against government-backed, harsh COVID-19 lockdowns have swept across the country, DeSantis accused Apple of offering “aid and comfort to the CCP.”
Apple is already working to deflect Republican criticism of its commercial relationships with China. Under the pretense of antitrust concerns, Apple CEO Tim Cook met with prominent lawmakers on Tuesday, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Rep. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).
However, according to sources quoted by The Post, legislators will investigate Apple’s other big issues. Specifically, the corporation has secretly agreed to help the CCP stifle opposition.
DeSantis verbally spat with Disney over the company’s public opposition to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” statute. DeSantis is a regular opponent of “woke” activities by large US firms. This conflict resulted in DeSantis spearheading a campaign to abolish Disney’s special tax status in Florida.
Musk slammed Apple in a series of tweets on Monday, accusing the iPhone manufacturer of suppressing free expression through its ownership of the App Store. In a single post, he mentioned Cook.
Musk also criticized Apple for collecting a 30% revenue cut from app developers whose apps are featured in the App Store. In addition, he ran a poll asking if Apple should disclose any censoring acts that have affected its users.
In a poll with more than 2.2 million participants, about 85 percent of respondents agreed with Musk’s proposition.
Musk said Tuesday afternoon, “The people have spoken.”
Musk has recently incensed critics before re-emphasizing an “absolutist” free speech paradigm for Twitter’s content management policies. This week, Twitter is reinstating over 62,000 suspended accounts, including over 11,000 pages prohibited for breaking the company’s COVID-19 misinformation policy, according to Platformer. In a subsequent website update on November 23, Twitter said it would no longer enforce the COVID-19 misinformation policy.
Musk has already upset opponents by eliminating a block on former President Donald Trump’s account that had been in effect since immediately after the Capitol incident on January 6.
In recent months, DeSantis and Musk have voiced mutual support on many occasions, with the Florida governor complimenting Musk’s choice to purchase and redesign Twitter.
Meanwhile, Musk said this week that he wants to back DeSantis if he follows through with a candidacy for the US presidency in 2024.
According to Musk, his ideal for the 2024 president is someone sensible and moderate. He had thought that would be the case with the Biden administration, but he tweeted that he has been disappointed so far. When asked if he would support DeSantis, Musk replied with a straightforward “yes.”