Ron DeSantis: Apple Threatening to Remove Twitter from App Store Could ‘Merit a Response’ from Congress

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 08: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives a victory speech after defeating Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Charlie Crist during his election night watch party at the Tampa Convention Center on November 8, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. DeSantis was the projected winner by a double-digit lead. (Photo by …
Octavio Jones/Getty Images, Anadolu Agency/Contributor/Getty Images

Apple reportedly threatening to suspend Twitter from its App Store could “merit a response from the United States Congress,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said during a press conference on Tuesday.

Twitter owner Elon Musk announced on Monday that Apple has threatened to “withhold” the social media platform from its App Store, but he said Apple has been unwilling to provide an explanation as to why. He also said Apple “has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter” — a move that follows Musk seemingly pursuing the reinstatement of free speech on the platform.

DeSantis, who in April said Musk’s offer to buy Twitter raised the prospect that free speech would return to the social media giant, spoke about Apple’s alleged threat on Tuesday, explaining that it could warrant congressional action. 

“You also hear reports that Apple is threatening to remove Twitter from the App Store, because Elon Musk is actually opening it up for free speech and is restoring a lot of accounts that were unfairly and legitimately suspended for putting out accurate information about COVID,” DeSantis said.

“That’s like one of the main things that’s being reinstated. So many things, these experts were wrong and you had people on Twitter that were calling that out and Twitter, the old regime and Twitter, their response was to try to just suffocate the dissent,” DeSantis, one of the champions of speaking out against coronavirus misinformation, continued.

“And Elon Musk knows that’s not a winning formula, and so he’s providing free speech,” the governor said, adding that “Apple responds to that by nuking them from the App Store.”

DeSantis said it would be a “huge, huge mistake” and a “raw exercise of monopolistic power that I think would merit a response from the United States Congress.”

“And so don’t be a vassal of the CCP on one hand, and then use your corporate power in the United States on the other to suffocate Americans and try to suppress their right to express themselves,” DeSantis added.

WATCH:

Musk has continued to highlight Apple’s alleged threats, even posting a poll asking users if Apple should “publish all censorship actions it has taken that affect its customers”:

“This is a battle for the future of civilization. If free speech is lost even in America, tyranny is all that lies ahead,” Musk wrote Monday:

Notably, the billionaire this month said he would support the Florida governor in the 2024 presidential primary, but he emphasized that “Twitter as a platform must be fair to all”:

DeSantis’s remarkers follow Apple restricting the use AirDrop on Chinese iPhones after dissidents used it to distribute messages blocked by the communist regime. 

As Breitbart News reported:

Until Apple clipped its wings, AirDrop was one of the few readily-available methods of secure and private file sharing on China’s heavily-monitored Internet. The system is difficult for censors to monitor or block because it does not run through remote online servers. Instead, it allows iPhones and other Apple devices to send files to each other directly using WiFi and Bluetooth signals. The devices must be fairly close to each other for AirDrop to work.

“There’s reports that Apple is not allowing the protesters to use this AirDrop function where they’re trying to communicate. That obviously is providing aid and comfort to the CCP,” DeSantis said, calling the report “very concerning.”

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