App Stores Could Destroy Twitter — THIS Could Prevent It
(RightWing.org) – In the early days of social media, platforms such as Twitter and Facebook played vital roles in the Arab Spring in 2010 and 2011. The technology allowed citizens to communicate and plan protests against dictatorships across much of the Arab world. Mobile technologies and social media were hailed as a tool to debate issues that people couldn’t freely discuss in public.
Fast forward a decade, and tech companies have grown into a gatekeeper of information. It’s gone as far as to censor former President Donald Trump and other Conservatives. On October 28, Elon Musk finalized the purchase of Twitter and took over the social media giant, saying he wanted to restore free speech to the platform. There’s just one problem: Apple and Google could remove Twitter’s app from their platform. One expert says the way to prevent it is through App Neutrality.
App Stores Could Destroy Twitter
Jack Buckby is a journalist and expert analyst who reports on left- and right-wing radicalization and Western governments’ attempts to solve the significant issues of the day. In an op-ed for the site 1945, Buckby wrote he’s concerned Musk may have squandered the $44 billion purchase of the social media giant to make it a free speech platform. He argued Google and Apple could topple Twitter and that left-wing activists were ready to do whatever it took to ensure Twitter doesn’t survive.
While Twitter has a massive built-in audience, what would happen to the platform’s influence if Apple and Google dropped it like a hot potato? The two tech giants control the flow of information through their mobile operating systems and app stores. There is virtually no other competition in the marketplace, and consumers are forced to use their systems.
Buckby noted Google and Apple are now relevant in our lives in a way they never were before. People control their banking, home energy use, entertainment, personal information, and communications through their mobile devices. Android’s global market share is 71.47%, and Apple’s IOS is 27.88%.
Apple has made it nearly impossible for users to add an app to an iPhone without using the App Store. It’s called “sideloading.” Android makes it possible, but most users don’t know it’s an option, let alone understand how to do it.
App Neutrality Could Solve The Problem
In December 2021, Bucky wrote that the European Union (EU) had drafted rules requiring Apple to make its mobile operating system available to app creators, forcing the company to allow users to bypass the App Store and erode the company’s ability to act as a gatekeeper. He noted that App Neutrality could significantly affect app access and erode a company’s monopoly and the ability to dictate who can use what apps.
In 2015, Blackberry CEO John Chen stated App Neutrality “must be mandated” through a law to make sure the internet remains “free, open and non-discriminatory.”
So, could App Neutrality save Twitter if the two mobile tech giants force it off their platforms? Buckby believes so. He suggested Musk talk with GOP lawmakers soon about establishing a law that protects Twitter and other media from censorship.
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