- Twitter threatens to sue Meta over Threads app, alleging trade secret misuse.
- Meta denies hiring former Twitter employees for Threads.
- Threads intensify rivalry and raise data privacy concerns.
Instagram’s parent company Twitter and Meta are heading into a potential legal battle over the launch of Meta’s recent app Threads. Twitter CEO Elon Musk has threatened to sue Meta, claiming the company illegally used Twitter’s trade secrets and intellectual property to create the thread.
In a letter obtained by Semaphore, Twitter accuses Meta of hiring former Twitter employees who had access to confidential information, suggesting that that knowledge may have been used to make ropes. Alex Spiro, Elon Musk’s attorney, wrote a letter calling Meta’s actions a systematic, deliberate, and legal misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets.
BREAKING: TWITTER TO SUE META | FACEBOOK'S LITANY OF COPYCAT FAILS— Mario Nawfal (@MarioNawfal) July 6, 2023
Elon's lawyer Alex Spiro sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg threatening legal action, claiming that Meta hired former Twitter employees to create a clone.
This isn't surprising, as Facebook's Moto has always… pic.twitter.com/FTZrnKMugu
However, Meta denies that any former Twitter employees are involved in the Threads group. Andy Stone, a spokesman for Meta, confirmed that none of the technical team members working on Threads had previously worked for Twitter.
The launch of threads intensified the rivalry between Elon Musk’s Twitter and Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta. Text-based chat app Threads garnered huge attention and millions of subscribers in the first 24 hours after its release. Many users see this as a potential alternative to Twitter, which has faced challenges since Musk took over.
Elon Musk expressed his disappointment on Twitter over the publication of Meta’s threads. He shared an image in which he compares the Threads brand to a tapeworm, metaphorically suggesting that it can be contagious. Musk also emphasized the importance of fair competition, saying that while competition is acceptable, cheating is not.
Any social media monopoly is despair— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2023
Metaphorically too— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2023
Competition is fine, cheating is not— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2023
While Threads has received positive reviews and impressive downloads, success is not guaranteed. While Meta has a history of creating standalone apps that were later shut down, Threads is still in its infancy.
In addition to competition concerns, data privacy issues surround Threads. The app has been launched in more than 100 countries, but most of it is not available because of strict privacy laws in the European Union. Some users are skeptical about Metadata collection practices, citing the Digital Markets Act, which imposes regulations on Internet companies, as a reason for not wanting to adopt Thread at all
Legal battles over trade secrets are not uncommon in technology. Previous cases, such as the case between Waymo and Uber, have had significant ramifications. The outcome of the ongoing struggle between Twitter and Meta will have implications for both platforms and the broader social media landscape.