If Elon Musk removes the block feature from X it wouldn’t be the first time the billionaire skirted App Store rules – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

If Elon Musk removes the block feature from X it wouldn’t be the first time the billionaire skirted App Store rules

The social media site formerly known as “Twitter” is now officially “X” on the App store.

Screenshot from the App store.

Elon Musk on Friday announced plans to remove the block feature on X, formerly known as Twitter. 
The Apple App Store requires apps with user-generated content to have a block feature.
X appears to have been granted special permission to be the store’s only single-letter named app.

Elon Musk on Friday announced plans to remove the block feature on X, the microblogging social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

It’s a move many users are decrying as a step toward openly allowing harassment on the platform, and if he goes through with it, the change would appear to violate the rules of both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

And it wouldn’t be the first time the billionaire has gotten what he wanted despite existing rules on the App Store.

The Google Play Store and Apple App Store have rules for apps that host user-generated content like text posts, photos, and videos. Namely, the apps require a block feature for users.

“To prevent abuse, apps with user-generated content or social networking services must include: A method for filtering objectionable material from being posted to the app, a mechanism to report offensive content and timely responses to concerns, the ability to block abusive users from the service, published contact information so users can easily reach you,” Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines read.

Google requires apps to provide “an in-app system for blocking UGC and users.”

Users reacting to the prospect of X blowing up the block feature (in favor of a more robust mute feature, according to a tweet by one of the platform’s developers) were quick to point to the app stores’ rules as reason Musk wouldn’t be able to make the change. 

But Apple has appeared to bend existing rules for Musk’s X recently. Late last month, as the rebrand from Twitter to X became official, the App Store initially blocked the move to rename the platform, apparently due to rules requiring apps to have at least two-character long names. Then Apple changed course in Musk’s favor, with a rule change exclusively for X.

Apple’s language in its developer guidelines still requires other apps to have at least two characters in their names.

Representatives for X, Apple, and Google did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment. 

Musk has previously been an outspoken critic of Apple’s App Store policies. So much so that he has previously posted memes about going to war with the tech giant over the 30% fee Apple takes from in-app sales made through apps downloaded through the company’s store, calling it a “30% tax on the internet.”

The SpaceX and Tesla CEO feuded publicly with Apple CEO Tim Cook for several months late last year before appearing to bury the hatchet, posting after a “good conversation” they’d “resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store,” Musk wrote in a tweet. “Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so.”

It remains unclear precisely what was said between the pair at that time, but the relationship between X and Apple has appeared less contentious since. Earlier this month, Musk tweeted that he wanted to speak with Cook over another rule change and revisit Apple’s 30% fee on in-app purchases. However, his request struck a notably more conciliatory tone than prior posts.

No change to the fee has yet been publicly implemented.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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