After the Threads app went live on Wednesday and amassed 1 million followers in just 1.5 hours of its release, Twitter has threatened to sue Meta Platforms. Twitter’s lawsuit against Meta Threads is fueled by rumors that Mark Zuckerberg was building a Twitter alternative for a long time. Who do you think will emerge as the winner in the Twitter vs. Meta Threads lawsuit?
Twitter’s Lawsuit On Meta Threads: Twitter’s Concerns
During its preview on Apple’s App Store, Meta managed to log more than 30 million sign-ups for its Threads app and feels like an eminent jab on Elon Musk’s Twitter by profiting off Instagram’s substantial user base of billions.
Amongst the 30 million registered users garnered within its first 24 hours, celebrities and brands have been the first to get on the wagon of Threads. Unsurprisingly, users have already made over 95 million threads.
Plagiarism is not to be trifled with as it has serious legal consequences and Twitter’s legal action against Meta Threads seems to be focused on this aspect. In a letter addressed to Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s lawyer Alex Spiro has accused the former of employing ‘dozens’ of ex-Twitter employees that have used Twitter’s highly-confidential intellectual property and trade secrets to build the Meta 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 confidential information.”
Spiro is also Elon Musk’s personal lawyer.
Competition is fine, cheating is not
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2023
Zuckerberg’s Meta also fosters WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook under its wing.
Ever since Musk took over the social media platform in October 2022, Twitter has been beset with tumultuous times as Musk has initiated several transformations to Twitter’s machinations. After laying off thousands of employees, Musk has been trolled and on the receiving end of backlash for solely strategizing on how to monetize the platform by taking away its core audience.
Other competitors vying for a piece of the trophy over Twitter’s sensational fall include Bluesky, Mastodon, Tumblr, Spill, Nostr, and Meta, but Meta Threads’ user interface bears a striking resemblance to the microblogging platform.
Yet, Threads does not support direct messages or keyword searches, as an extension of the Instagram app.
Twitter Lawsuit Threat To Meta Threads May Fizzle Out?
According to Twitter, many of the former employees who have access to the social platform’s secrets have been tasked with creating Threads, a ‘copycat’ app in all senses, which violates both state and federal law.
Twitter sues Meta Threads on the grounds of both civil remedies and injunctive relief. It believes that Meta should not even try to scrape Twitter’s data either.
Here’s a twist: Meta has responded to the accusations in Spiro’s letter in a post on Threads (a shrewd move, indeed).
Meta’s communications director Andy Stone has joined the conversation and stated that Meta isn’t concerned about the lawsuit by Twitter, or more so because Twitter is notoriously not shy about threatening legal action. No senior personnel from Twitter landed in Meta at all.
“No one on the Threads engineering team is an ex-Twitter employee – that’s just not a thing.”
For pressing charges of a trade secret theft against Meta, Twitter needs more evidence than just decreeing that intellectual property has been stolen or ‘copied’, according to many intellectual property law experts.
The mere statement of hiring former Twitter employees who have been laid off, and that Facebook designed a somewhat similar site is not likely hard evidence to support a trade secrets claim. Companies alleging trade secret theft need to display the reasonable efforts made to protect their confidential information. Most cases swivel around secure systems that were dodged in a loophole sort of way.
In May, Musk accused Microsoft of illegally engaging with Twitter’s API to train its AI model from OpenAI after the tech giant announced its disavowing to the social platform on its advertising scheduling tools.
The latest trials and tribulations at Twitter seem to be cooked by the internal team itself – enforcing tweet reading limits on users based on their verification status. This has alienated a lot of users and rubbed them the wrong way.