Twitter is reportedly contemplating legal action against social media giant Meta due to alleged intellectual property infringement relating to Meta’s recently released application, Threads. In a clash between the tech heavyweights, Twitter claims that former employees used confidential information to create the Threads application, an allegation vehemently denied by Meta.
by Michael Scurry
Twitter is reportedly weighing up legal action against Meta, arguing that the tech behemoth’s rapidly expanding app, Threads, infringes on its intellectual property rights. Introduced to millions earlier this week, Threads, which shares strong similarities with Twitter, has been touted as a more genial alternative by Meta’s management.
Twitter’s Elon Musk stated, “While competition is acceptable, deceit is not,” in response to a legal document denying assertions that Threads was developed with the assistance of ex-Twitter personnel. According to Meta, the new app has already attracted over 30 million users.
Threads bears a strong resemblance to Twitter, noted James Clayton, a technology reporter with the BBC. He described the news feed and reposting features of Threads as strikingly akin to those of Twitter.
As originally disclosed by news agency Semafor, Alex Spiro, Twitter’s legal counsel, sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In the letter, Twitter accuses Meta of deliberately and unlawfully misappropriating Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property to craft Threads.
Spiro claimed that Meta engaged numerous former Twitter employees who still possess privileged access to Twitter’s confidential data. Such information, according to Spiro, was instrumental in Meta’s creation of the “copycat” Threads app.
The letter demands Meta cease using Twitter’s intellectual property immediately, with Twitter reserving all rights to seek legal and injunctive remedies without further warning.
The BBC, which obtained a copy of the letter, reached out to both Meta and Twitter for additional comments.
Meta spokesperson Andy Stone refuted the accusations on Threads, stating, “No one on the Threads engineering team has previously worked for Twitter – that’s simply not true.”
The growing competition surrounding Threads, which operates as a standalone app linked to Instagram, has been recognized by both Zuckerberg and Musk. Upon Threads’ launch in 100 countries, Zuckerberg ended an 11-year hiatus from Twitter by sharing a meme that humorously highlighted the rivalry.
In response to the growing global trend surrounding “Threads,” Musk tweeted, “I’d rather be criticized by strangers on Twitter than pretend to enjoy Instagram’s fake happiness.”
Twitter CEO, Linda Yaccarino, echoed Musk’s sentiments by stating that while Twitter is often imitated, it can never be replicated. This comes as both Twitter and Meta face significant layoffs, with Twitter experiencing an 80% reduction in its 7,500-strong workforce following Musk’s takeover last year.