RedState previously reported how Twitter CEO Elon Musk claimed on Monday his social network that he is now the owner of and that it has not been the only time that Apple “mostly stopped advertising on Twitter” however they've “also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won't tell us why.”
While Apple has not yet confirmed the claims nor released a statement of its statement in reaction to Musk's assertions however, it is likely that Apple's move is in direct response to the left's relentless efforts to shut down the services of Musk and Twitter- all for the sin of defending free speech and open dialog in the form of asking advertisers to not support the platform.
“Content moderation” ostensibly has been the motivation behind the well-funded boycott campaigns of Twitter and Facebook, with those who lead the campaign fully aware of the fact that “Apple and Google have used their positions as the essential link between app developers and consumers to press for content moderation,” according to the New York Times.
However, even though Apple has always positioned its image as a promoter of secure and welcoming environments for people of every walk of life, its actions (including eliminating Parler from its App Store following the Capitol violence) have in the end spoken more strongly than its claims and is evident by an intentional move they took several weeks prior to the zero COVID protests kicking off at the PRC.
The largest demonstration of discontent in a long time will need to contend without a key communication tool, since Apple has imposed restrictions on the use of its app in China at the beginning of March.
AirDrop is a file-sharing function available on iPhones along with various Apple gadgets, and has assisted protesters in a variety of authoritarian nations to avoid censorship. This is since AirDrop depends on the direct connection between mobiles creating a local network of devices that do not require the internet to connect. Users can choose to receive AirDrops from any person who has an iPhone close by.
In the update on November 9th, there was an upgrade that is only available to iPhones available in China. AirDrop can only be configured to receive messages from all users for 10 minutes, and then it switches off. There's no longer an option for users to have the “everyone” setting on permanently on Chinese iPhones. The change, which was first noticed by Chinese users of 9to5Mac, isn't applicable to anyone other than Chinese citizens
According to Quartz, Apple made the switch to AirDrop in the aftermath of “Xi Jinping's anointment to a third term as China's leader was met with rare displays of public dissent.”
It's not the first time that Apple has limited the capacity of people in dictatorial regimes to share or communicate information. Similar actions were taken in the year 2019 in Hong Kong protests. Hong Kong protests:
Apple has taken down from its App Store a smartphone application [HKmap.livethat is that is used for Hong Kong pro-democracy activists to crowdsource information on the whereabouts of police and protesters following a report by Chinese media reported that the tech giant had aided “rioters.”
Apple initially ruled out the app in the last week, claiming that the application “encourages an activity that is not legal,” and permits users to “evade law enforcement,” according to the app's creators.
However, HKmap.live did briefly become available on the App Store prior to when Apple announced on Wednesday that it was removing it.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) reminded the public of the history of Apple's use of Chinese slave laborers to create its products, while claiming them to be leading in their fight against what they believe to be Human Rights violations in the home state of Georgia.
In the meantime, apps such as TikTok that are in essence under the control of the PRC and are deemed real security risks to authorities from the U.S. government are allowed to remain in Apple Apps.