Science & Tech

Elon Musk is so unbothered by Threads he’s threatening to sue Meta for ‘cheating’

Elon Musk is so unbothered by Threads he’s threatening to sue Meta for ‘cheating’
Musk vs Zuckerberg: Twitter threatens to sue Meta over Threads

In the run-up to Instagram launching Threads earlier this week - its “civil”, text-based alternative to Twitter - billionaire Elon Musk has criticised the rival app looking to compete with the platform he bought back in October for $44bn by calling out the amount of data it may collect on users.

Now, after the Meta-run platform is out in the wild, Musk appears to be so riled up by its runaway success (Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg reported 10 million sign-ups in the first seven hours after launch) that he’s threatening to sue Meta over what he considers “cheating”.

News website Semafor shared a letter from Twitter lawyer Alex Spiro, in which he writes that the bird app has “serious concerns” Zuckerberg’s company has carried out “systemic, wilful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property”.

It reads: “Over the past year, Meta has hired dozens of former Twitter employees. Twitter knows that these employees previously worked at Twitter; that these employees had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information; that these employees owe ongoing obligations to Twitter; and that many of these employees have improperly retained Twitter documents and electronic devices.

“With that knowledge, Meta deliberately assigned these employees to develop, in a matter of months, Meta’s copycat ‘Threads’ app with the specific intent that they use Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property in order to accelerate the development of Meta’s competing app, in violation of both state and federal law as well as those employees’ ongoing obligations to Twitter.

“Twitter intends to strictly enforce its intellectual property rights, and demands that Meta take immediate steps to stop using any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information.”

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter


Appearing to confirm the legal threat following Semafor’s report, Musk tweeted: “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”

The remark has since been met with heavy ridicule:

Meanwhile, Meta’s communication director, Andy Stone has taken to Threads to state: “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee – that’s just not a thing.”

The Musk-Zuckerberg feud very much continues, though, to the extent there are continued rumours the two tech moguls could partake in a “cage fight” to settle their differences – yes, really.

We’ll go and fetch the popcorn…

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)