Twitter, the popular social media platform, has sent a strong warning to Meta, the parent company of Facebook, stating its intention to sue over concerns related to Meta’s newly launched Threads app. In a letter exclusively obtained by Semafor, Twitter’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, accuses Meta of unlawfully utilizing Twitter’s trade secrets and intellectual property during the development of Threads.
Spiro, a prominent attorney known for his representation of high-profile clients including Elon Musk, claims that Meta strategically hired numerous former Twitter employees, many of whom still retain access to Twitter’s confidential information. This recruitment strategy by Meta raises suspicions, particularly given the significant number of personnel laid off following Musk’s takeover of Twitter.
According to Twitter, Meta took advantage of these ex-employees’ knowledge and tasked them with creating a “copycat” app, a clear violation of both state and federal laws. As a consequence, Twitter has threatened to pursue legal action against Meta, seeking civil remedies and injunctive relief. In a strongly worded demand, Twitter insists that Meta immediately cease the use of any Twitter trade secrets or highly confidential information. Furthermore, Twitter prohibits Meta from crawling or scraping Twitter’s data.
In response to Twitter’s allegations, Meta swiftly responded through a statement posted on Threads by its communications director, Andy Stone. Stone categorically denied the involvement of former Twitter employees in the Threads engineering team, stating, “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing.” Meta appears unfazed by Twitter’s legal threats, possibly due to Twitter’s track record of making similar accusations. In a recent incident, Twitter accused Microsoft of abusing its API through integrations with certain products.
Despite the ongoing dispute, Meta launched Threads on Wednesday evening, initially extending access to celebrities and brands. Astonishingly, within a mere 24 hours of its release, the app has already garnered an impressive user base of over 30 million registered users. Internal data obtained by The Verge’s Alex Heath suggests that users have created and engaged in more than 95 million threads, highlighting the app’s swift popularity.
Elon Musk, the influential entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla, shared his thoughts on the matter in response to a tweet about the letter. Musk expressed, “Competition is fine, cheating is not.” This remark from Musk indicates the escalating rivalry between Twitter and Meta, potentially setting the stage for a fierce clash between these tech giants.