'That's a question for Apple': White House deflects questions about Twitter ... trends now

'That's a question for Apple': White House deflects questions about Twitter ... trends now
'That's a question for Apple': White House deflects questions about Twitter ... trends now

'That's a question for Apple': White House deflects questions about Twitter ... trends now

The White House was accused of double standards on Wednesday, as a senior spokesman deflected questions about Apple bowing to Chinese authorities, saying the tech giant was a private company, while the Biden administration says it is monitoring Twitter for misinformation.

During an appearance on Fox News, John Kirby, the National Security Council's coordinator for strategic communications, said it was a case of comparing 'apples and oranges.'

Conservatives have expressed fury with the White House, after it said it would be keeping 'an eye on' misinformation spread on Twitter, after Elon Musk bought the platform.

It has also expressed concern that foreign investors could manipulate the platform. 

So Kirby faced tough questioning about his response to Apple restricting the use of its Airdrop feature just before protests broke out.

'We've been clear about this all around the world,' he said. 

'We want individual citizens, no matter what government they live under, to be able to communicate freely and openly, transparently and reliably. 

'And we've made that clear with respect to Iran. And we certainly continue to make that clear here with respect to Apple.'

John Kirby, the National Security Council's coordinator for strategic communications, faced accusations of double standards when he appeared on Fox News on Wednesday

John Kirby, the National Security Council's coordinator for strategic communications, faced accusations of double standards when he appeared on Fox News on Wednesday

Chinese protesters in the past have found Apple's AirDrop a useful way to evade surveillance of communications. But the company issued an update recently limiting its use

Chinese protesters in the past have found Apple's AirDrop a useful way to evade surveillance of communications. But the company issued an update recently limiting its use

Twitter owner and 'chief twit' Elon Musk

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Elon Musk's ownership of Twitter has come under heavy scrutiny, leading to Republicans saying the administration has double standards when it comes to Tim Cook's Apple

Host Martha MacCallum pressed him on whether the administration had made that point to Tim Cook's company.

'Apple's a private company, Martha,' he replied. 'They have to make decisions and they have to speak for those decisions.' 

China has seen a wave of protests as it imposed lockdowns and continued with its 'zero COVID' policy.

Protesters have even demanded the removal of Xi Jinping as president.  

Apple's AirDrop had proven a useful way for critics to circumvent Chinese surveillance during other waves of dissent, such as in Hong Kong in 2019. 

MacCallum contrasted the administration's approach allowing Apple to do its own thing with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying officials were monitoring misinformation on Twitter — despite it also being a private company.

'I think we've been very clear and consistent on this,' Kirby replied. 

'Certainly publicly, we've been very open about our desire to be able to see citizens communicate.

'Apple, if

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