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'Cheating' Threads gets Twitter legal threat, passes 30m signups

Critics have also unearthed a November 2022 tweet by Elon Musk, which saw him mock fired employees.

Published onJuly 7, 2023

Threads By Instagram
Adamya Sharma / Android Authority
  • Twitter has sent a legal letter to rival platform Threads.
  • The letter accuses Threads of “misappropriation” of Twitter’s trade secrets.
  • The threat comes after the new Meta platform breached the 30 million signup mark.

Instagram’s Threads platform launched earlier this week, and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that 30 million people have signed up for the service at last count. Coincidentally, the platform has now received a legal letter from Twitter.

Semafor reports that a lawyer for Twitter has sent a letter to Zuckerberg, accusing Threads parent company Meta of “systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property.”

The letter specifically accuses Meta of hiring plenty of former Twitter employees who “had and continue to have” access to Twitter’s trade secrets and IP. The lawyer’s letter further claims that Meta then deliberately assigned these employees to work on its “copycat” Threads app.

“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,” reads an excerpt of the letter.

A Meta representative refuted the claims in a brief statement to Semafor:

No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing.

Twitter owner Elon Musk has also responded to the saga, tweeting that “competition is fine, cheating is not.”

Musk fired the majority of Twitter employees when he acquired the company in late 2022. And some critics have cheekily referenced one of his tweets from this period.

“I would like to apologize for firing these geniuses. Their immense talent will no doubt be of great use elsewhere,” Musk tweeted in November 2022 in response to a tweet that he had fired employees who were critical of him.

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