Musk threatens to sue Zuck over META Threads launch: ‘Competition is fine, cheating is not’

In what would be a battle of the Big Tech titans, Twitter is threatening to file a lawsuit against Meta over its new Threads app, accusing the Mark Zuckerberg-owned platform of “systematic, willful and unlawful misappropriation” of Twitter’s trade secrets.

Twitter owner Elon Musk made it clear where he stands on the copycat app, as the new Instagram-based Twitter competitor is being described.

Taking to Twitter, Musk wrote: “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”

Musk was also clear that he sees Threads as a copycat effort, as seen here:

Zuckerberg, who created Facebook, boasted on Threads that the user base had reached 30 million.

“Wow, 30 million sign-ups as of this morning. Feels like the beginning of something special, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead to build out the app,” he posted.

When former Twitter chief Jack Dorsey responded to a critique of there being no following tab on Threads by pointing to Instagram, which is owned by Meta, Musk responded with a not-so-subtle shot at the competition.

“A closed source, algorithm-only system means that manipulation of what information people see is essentially undetectable,” he tweeted.

 

“They’re not building anything with this platform,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives says of Meta, according to CNBC. “It’s just a platform that’s looking to tap into a massive Instagram install base and take the frustration and hate toward Musk and Twitter, bottle it and look to gain market share.”

Twitter lawyer Alex Spiro presented the company’s concerns in a letter released Thursday.

“Twitter has serious concerns that Meta Platforms (Meta’) has engaged in systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property,” the attorney wrote, according to the Daily Mail. “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.”

According to Spiro, Meta hired dozens of former Twitter employees who “had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information,” further claiming that these former employees were tasked with creating a “copycat” app in Threads.

“Meta is expressly prohibited from engaging in any crawling or scraping of Twitter’s followers or following data. As set forth in Twitter’s Terms of Service, crawling any Twitter services,” the letter said.

As for how he feels about Instagram, Musk was clear Zuckerberg’s app trafficked in “false happiness.”

“It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram,” he tweeted.

The billionaire also warned about the “despair” of social media monopoly in responding to a critique of Zuckerberg pointing out that he “already controls” the largest messaging apps on the planet (WhatsApp, Messenger), photo sharing app on the planet (Instagram), [and] friends/family app on the planet (Facebook).

Tom Tillison

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