Is Elon Musk scared of a little Thread? Twitter to sue Meta over new Threads app

Twitter has said Meta's new Threads app uses stolen trade secrets and intellectual property. Threads has attracted tens of millions of users in just 24 hours

Representative image (photo: DW)
Representative image (photo: DW)


Twitter is threatening fellow social-media giant Meta with legal action over its new rival text app Threads, according to US media reports.

In a letter dated Wednesday and addressed to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg — a copy of which was obtained by US news outlet Semafor — Twitter legal representative Alex Spiro accused Meta of hiring Twitter employees to create a "copycat" text app, and of stealing Twitter trade secrets and intellectual property.

Spiro said Twitter, "intends to strictly enforce its intellectual property rights," adding that the letter was a "formal notice" to Meta to preserve all relevant documents in light of possible legal action.

Meta spokesman Andy Stone responded to Spiro accusations, writing on the new app, "no one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that's just not a thing."

The Associated Press reported Thursday that it received a poop emoji when it reached out to Twitter for comment. The standard automated response for journalists is an expression of the company's attitude under the leadership of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.

Musk versus Zuckerberg — battle of the billionaire techies

Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion (€40.4 billion) in 2022, has not publicly commented on the situation. Nor has Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino, who simply tweeted, "We're often imitated — but the Twitter community can never be duplicated."

Threads, which Meta launched Wednesday night, was created by its Instagram employees and has already picked up tens of millions of users in just 24 hours.

Twitter has been struggling to hang on to its users since Musk took over the company. His erratic public behavior and statements have led some to seek an alternative.

Not many are racing to sign up for Former US President Donald Trump's Truth Social, so it could be an opportune moment for Zuckerberg and Meta — though the company formerly known as Facebook also has a track record of letting projects wither.

None of the 100 countries in which Threads was launched were in the EU, due to the bloc's stricter data security laws.

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