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Over the past four weeks, all eyes in the Big Tech arena have been looking at Twitter. Ever since Elon Musk took over the company, folks on the left have been throwing an ongoing hissy fit over the fact that he plans to promote free speech on the platform.
Progressives have employed multiple tactics designed to discredit the company under its new leadership and even moved to attack its advertising revenue. Even now, Musk is in a conflict with Apple, claiming the company threatened to remove Twitter from its app store.
The new CEO says Apple has been “making moderation demands” of the company. Leftists have suggested pressuring Apple and Google to purge the app from its stores to further limit its reach. In essence, they seek to give Twitter the Parler treatment.
Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022
Apple has cracked down on other social networking apps for lax moderation policies, such as Parler, so there is real danger that Twitter and Apple could end up in a major dispute should Twitter fail to adequately handle inappropriate content. Twitter has already reinstated more than 62,000 suspended accounts, including that of former U.S. President Donald Trump, and it is not yet clear if that will be problematic.
Apple and Twitter could also run into issues over the Twitter Blue subscription. Platformer this week said Twitter is delaying the launch of the Twitter Blue service as it seeks a way to avoid Apple’s 30 percent cut on iOS devices.
Musk recently met with Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, ostensibly to discuss these and other matters. However, he has not yet given details of what was discussed during their gathering. He did, however, post a tweet thanking Cook for giving him a tour of the company’s headquarters, so hopefully, the conversation bore fruit, pun intended.
But this was only the most recent in a series of attacks coming at Twitter now that Musk has taken over. Even now, the activist media is whining because it was revealed that the company has rolled back its COVID misinformation policy, which previously resulted in accounts being banned for expressing views on the pandemic and vaccines that do not align with the Democrat-approved narrative.
This state of affairs raises an interesting question: Why are leftists so concerned about the idea of free speech on Twitter when there are better targets? For example, is Musk’s commitment to free speech somehow more dangerous than TikTok, which has shown itself to be problematic?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cautioned the nation against the popular video-sharing app, calling on the federal government to ban it. Brendan Carr, an FCC commissioner, called for the ban because it is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Ever since the app became more widespread among America’s youth, people have been concerned about national security.
Forbes published an article earlier this year detailing the problems with TikTok:
Since then, the US armed forces have forbidden personnel from using it and describes it as a threat to cybersecurity. Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point has investigated it and concludes it has backdoors and major vulnerabilities, as well as overall security issues. The US government is also investigating it. Meanwhile, Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman describes it as a “fundamentally parasitic app that is always listening” and warns against installing what he calls “spyware”. Several child advocacy groups say it poses a clear risk to children. Apple claims it has caught TikTok using clipboard capture mechanisms to spy on millions of users.
Former President Donald Trump wanted to ban the app over concerns that the CCP would use it to gain access to sensitive information. But he is not the only politician who understood the potential threat the app poses.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem imposed a ban on TikTok on state government devices. In an executive order, she is prohibiting state employees, agencies, and contractors from installing the app or visiting the website on state-sponsored phones and computers.
“South Dakota will have no part in the intelligence gathering operations of nations who hate us,” Noem said in a written statement. “The Chinese Communist Party uses information that it gathers on TikTok to manipulate the American people, and they gather data off the devices that access the platform.”
So if you are a rational person, which appears to be the greatest threat: China spying on the U.S. through TikTok or Elon Musk creating a level playing field for the expression of ideas on Twitter?
Any sane person knows the former is more of a danger. But politically-motivated progressives insist on singling out Twitter because they are terrified at the thought of losing supremacy over the platform. For them, it is more important to maintain censorship of conservatives than to stop Chinese attempts to obtain sensitive information.