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Elon Musk Threatens to Sue Meta Over Threads, Alleges it Hired ‘Dozens’ of Twitter Employees for Copycat App

The legal dispute between Elon Musk’s social media platform Twitter and Mark Zuckerberg’s company, Meta, regarding the release of Threads – Instagram’s alternative to Twitter, has intensified.

Meta’s Instagram introduced Threads on Wednesdday, a social application centered on text that aims to leverage Instagram’s framework and community. As per Zuckerberg, the app garnered over 30 million registrations by Thursday morning, approximately accounting for 1.5% of Instagram’s monthly engaged users.

In a cease-and-desist letter sent on July 5 to Meta CEO Zuckerberg, an attorney representing Twitter stated that Musk’s corporation had “serious concerns” concerning that Meta “has engaged in systematic, willful and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property.” The letter continues and reads “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.”

“Over the past year, Meta has hired dozens of Twitter employees,” the letter noted, and alleges “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 laws as well as those employees’ ongoing obligations to Twitter.”

Andy Stone, a representative for Meta, when requested for a statement, directed attention to his message on Threads where he stated, “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing.”

Musk responded in a tweet regarding Twitter taking legal action against Meta, “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”

The cease-and-desist letter from Twitter additional reads “Meta is expressly prohibited from engaging in any crawling or scraping of Twitter’s followers or follower data… Scraping any Twitter services is expressly prohibited for any reason without Twitter’s prior consent.” Although, the letter is not insinuating that Meta had any involvement in this type of activity.

Semafor was first to report on the letter to Meta from Twitter’s law firm.

In October 2022, Musk purchased Twitter for a hefty sum of $44 billion. Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of Twitter who recently joined the platform after leaving NBCUniversal, shared a tweet on Thursday that appeared to mention Threads. In her message, she expressed thoughts that “We’re often imitated — but the Twitter community can never be duplicated.”

An email to Twitter’s PR account requesting info returned an autoreply with a poop emoji. Variety also reached out to Alex Spiro, a partner with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the law firm representing Twitter (officially renamed as X Corp.) but has not received a reply.

An email message to Twitter’s public relations account asking for information received an automated response with a feces symbol. Variety also contacted Alex Spiro, a colleague at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the legal organization representing Twitter (now recognized as X Corp.), but has not gotten a response.

Will this newly ignited beef between the two social media giants all but ensure a cage fight will happen, pitting Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg in a one-on-one mixed martial arts battle against each other? Italy has offered its historic Colosseum to be the arena.

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