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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Elon Musk threatens to sue Meta as Twitter rival Threads takes off

In a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, Musk accused Meta of unlawful misappropriation of Twitter's trade secrets and other intellectual property.

South African-born Twitter owner Elon Musk has threatened to sue tech giant Meta just hours after the Instagram parent company launched Threads.

In a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Musk lawyer Alex Spiro accused the company of “unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property”.


The letter accused Meta of hiring dozens of former Twitter employees who “had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information”.

“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,” the letter said.

The letter also prohibited Meta from “engaging in any crawling or scraping of Twitters followers or following data”.


Zuckerberg’s brand new social media platform, Threads, went live on app stores on Wednesday night and is arguably the biggest challenger to Twitter yet.

Zuckerberg said Threads that went live on Apple and Android app stores in 100 countries at 11pm GMT on Wednesday, scooped 30 million sign-ups in just a few hours.

“Feels like the beginning of something special, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead to build the app,” Zuckerberg wrote on his official Threads account.

Zuckerberg said Meta is aiming for one billion users on Threads. If reached, it will have far outstripped Twitter’s 450 million users.

ALSO READ: Threads threat? Millions join Twitter rival within hours… in just three clicks

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