Elon Musk says he’ll release a phone that competes with iPhone and Android if he has to. The owner of Twitter might be forced to make a handset if Apple and Google ban the social network from their software stores.
Such a ban is possible, as both companies have policies that block apps that spread hate speech or calls for violence.
A Twitter phone might be Elon Musk’s next project
Twitter depends on iPhone and Android users for its crowd-sourced content. And it makes money by showing these users adverts. Apple and Google kicking the Twitter app out of their software stores would be a serious blow.
Elon Musk was asked by conservative political commentator Liz Wheeler what he’d do if the app was banned from the two major handset platforms. Musk said, “I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone.”
I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 25, 2022
Such a device would almost certainly run the open-source version of Android OS that doesn’t link the Google Play store.
Forcing Twitter moderation
Twitter had a policy of suspending or banning users for inciting violence, hate speech and harassment. However, Elon Musk now owns the company and is in the process of reversing all such bans.
While he has that right, Apple and Google also have the right to decide what apps are offered through their respective software stores. And they both ban apps that spread hate speech, calls to violence, etc.
Apple policy blocks software that includes, “Defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content, including references or commentary about religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, national/ethnic origin, or other targeted groups, particularly if the app is likely to humiliate, intimidate, or harm a targeted individual or group.”
Google’s policy is similar.
Apple wouldn’t let the controversial Parlor app onto the App Store until it began moderating content. But it’s not just Apple that Musk and Twitter have to worry about – Apple approved the Truth Social app months before Google did.