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Apple ‘never considered’ removing Twitter from App Store, says Elon Musk

Earlier this week Elon Musk suggested Apple would remove Twitter from its App Store - Maja Hitij/Getty
Earlier this week Elon Musk suggested Apple would remove Twitter from its App Store - Maja Hitij/Getty

Apple “never considered” removing Twitter from its App Store, Elon Musk has said after visiting the iPhone maker’s headquarters.

The multi-billionaire, who bought Twitter for $44bn, earlier this week suggested that Apple was going to remove the social media app from its online store.

After touring Apple’s Cupertino campus in California, Mr Musk tweeted on Wednesday night that chief executive Tim Cook personally reassured him Twitter would stay on the App Store.

He said: “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.”

Millions of people worldwide access Twitter through its iPhone app. Deleting the app from the App Store would have an immediate negative impact on the social media website.

Apparent threats to delete Twitter from the App Store were raised by Mr Musk as he accused Apple of cutting its advertising spending on Twitter, choking off an important source of income for the business.

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The SpaceX founder lashed out at Apple on Monday and threatened to “go to war” after an apparent drop in advertising spending by the world’s most valuable company.

Mr Musk posted: "Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?"

He added: “Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.”

Other companies such as Volkswagen and General Mills have withdrawn advertising in recent weeks, saying the website is increasingly filled with fake accounts and hate speech as increasing numbers of staff leave the site.

Around 5,000 employees have left Twitter over the past three weeks, including senior members of its content moderation teams. That team deletes user posts that are illegal or against the site’s rules.

The departures were a mix of redundancies triggered by Mr Musk and staff quitting amid his drive to impose “hardcore” working conditions.

Moves by Twitter’s new owner, a self-professed “free speech absolutist”, to reinstate formerly banned users including Donald Trump have caused advertisers to pause and take stock.

Mr Trump, the former US president, was permanently banned from Twitter after appearing to justify the violent storming of Capitol Hill on January 6 and denying the result of the US Presidential election.