In a heated battle between social media giants, Twitter has issued a threat to sue Meta following the launch of its Threads app, which quickly gained 10 million users. Twitter alleges “systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation” of its trade secrets and intellectual property, as well as data scraping by Meta, as reported by Lar Twitter News. The warning was delivered to Mark Zuckerberg through a letter from Elon Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro. Responding to the news, Musk emphasized, “Competition is fine, cheating is not,” implying an imminent legal showdown over the Threads app.
According to The Guardian, Twitter claims that Meta has infringed upon its “intellectual property rights,” as reported by news outlet Semafor. Twitter Daily News shared the letter from Spiro, where he expressed Twitter’s serious concerns regarding Meta’s alleged misappropriation of trade secrets and other intellectual property. The letter also stated that Twitter intends to rigorously protect its intellectual property rights and demands that Meta immediately ceases using any Twitter trade secrets or highly confidential information.
Notably, Meta launched Threads, a text-based conversation app aimed at competing with Twitter, on Wednesday. Within 24 hours of its launch, Threads reportedly amassed 30 million sign-ups, making it one of the fastest-downloaded apps ever. Threads accounts are seamlessly linked to Instagram profiles, enabling a smooth sign-up process between apps and giving the Twitter rival an existing user base.
Mark Zuckerberg referred to Threads as Meta’s attempt to create a “public conversations app with 1 billion+ people,” an opportunity he believes Twitter has yet to fully seize. In a thread on Thursday, Zuckerberg expressed satisfaction with the app’s initial performance, stating, “This is as good of a start as we could have hoped for!”
Meanwhile, Twitter’s cease-and-desist letter claimed that Meta has recruited numerous former Twitter employees over the past year, some of whom had access to Twitter’s trade secrets and highly confidential information. The letter alleges that many of these employees have improperly retained Twitter documents or electronic devices. Twitter accuses Meta of deliberately assigning these employees to develop their copycat Threads app, utilizing Twitter’s trade secrets and intellectual property to expedite its development—a violation of state and federal laws, as well as the employees’ ongoing obligations to Twitter.
Twitter further emphasized that Meta is “prohibited” from scraping data from any Twitter service, reinforcing their concerns regarding the alleged misuse of their proprietary information.
As the legal battle looms between Twitter and Meta, the clash between these tech giants underscores the high stakes and intense competition in the realm of social media. Both companies are poised to defend their interests fiercely, making it a legal spectacle worth watching.
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