Elon Musk threatens to sue Meta for using Twitter trade secrets to launch his new app | Technology



Elon Musk usually thinks about everything. And he almost always projects it to the nearly 150 million people who follow him on Twitter, the social network he bought in October 2022. At the beginning of July, he launched 14 messages in a single day. On Wednesday, hours after Meta, the parent company of Facebook, presented its new social network, Threads, to the world, he barely dedicated a few words to someone who threatens to take a big bite out of his market. “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than to indulge in the false happiness that hides the pain of Instagram,” wrote the tycoon to launch a dart against the new Meta tool. This social network serves as the engine for Threads, since both will be interconnected and followers of one will be able to turn to the other.

With the passing of the hours, Threads’ footprint on the Internet has deepened. On Thursday afternoon, Meta executives claimed that their new creation had reached 50 million users within 24 hours of launch. With this milestone also came a more hostile tone from the blue bird company. The middle traffic light says that a lawyer for X Corp., the owner of Twitter, threatened Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, with taking legal action for appropriating trade secrets and other elements of intellectual property.

The lawyer, Alex Spiro, points out in that letter that Meta hired dozens of former Twitter employees who had access to confidential information and other secrets. The lawyer affirms that Threads was developed by this group with the sole objective of copying the platform on which they had worked. Elon Musk referenced the lawsuit on Twitter. “Competition is fine, but cheating is not” wrote.

A Meta spokesperson, however, has denied the allegations stating that no Threads developer previously worked at Twitter. “It’s false,” said Andy Stone on the new social network. Another Instagram programmer explained that a special group was made for the creation with engineers who already had experience in Facebook and Instagram, the two most popular platforms of the company chaired by Mark Zuckerberg.

Spiro’s was just one message among the many that are fueling the controversy. Another came from the account of Linda Yaccarino, CEO of Twitter since June, who she described as “irreplaceable” to the community of users they have. However, in recent months, many users of the network that Musk now leads have abandoned the platform due to the changing policies that he has been implementing in the last year. In the past few days alone, the platform has riled users by saying it will limit the number of posts that non-payers can see. The announcement that the TweetDeck tool will be changed has also generated pushback, although the new network does not offer an alternative.

“We are often copied, but the Twitter community can’t be matched,” wrote Yaccarino, who joined the company in a messy process that began with an online survey. The executive she abruptly left her role at NBCUniversal, where she headed ad revenue, to join Musk, who had promised to step down as chief executive officer when she “found someone dumb enough” to do so.

Getting started with Threads

In her first day of life, Threads has aroused a lot of curiosity. The team that has developed it has explained that the platform is an unfinished work that will undergo adjustments in the coming weeks. One of these is the possibility for users to see the publications of their feed in chronological order, something that Instagram and Facebook do allow. “We will make it possible on Threads as well,” wrote Adam Mosseri, who runs Instagram and is also one of Threads’ parents.

Mosseri made the clarification due to criticism launched from the other side. Again, Elon Musk, who accused them of manipulating users for shutting down the code. In the same thread, Jack Dorsey, one of the founders of Twitter (and who recently launched another new social network), also argued about the weight that the algorithm has on the new platform, which does not organize a timeline with the accounts you follow, but it does it randomly. According to the creators of Threads, the next versions will include the message search, a feed hierarchical with the users you follow, hashtags, and more technical things like chart synchronization.

The tension between Meta and Twitter is increasing. Many are waiting for the supposed meeting that the owners of both technologies will have inside a ring to be confirmed. The aggressiveness on the commercial side is also growing. The writer Stephen King has explained it this way on Twitter: “Musk against Zuckerberg reminds me of what Oscar Wilde said about fox hunting: the heinous chases the unpalatable.”

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