BNR – Twitter has warned Meta Platforms of legal action over its recently launched Threads platform. The former wrote to the CEO of Instagram’s parent company, Mark Zuckerberg, via its attorney, Alex Spiro.
Meta released Threads on Wednesday and has registered over 30 million subscribers. By using Instagram’s enormous database of users, the platform aims to compete with Elon Musk’s Twitter.
Spiro accused Meta of employing ex-Twitter staff in the letter he wrote. According to the letter, the workers “had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information.”
Twitter asserted its intellectual rights in the document and asked that Meta cease to use any Twitter secrets or information.
“No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee,” said Andy Stone, Meta spokesperson, in a thread. “That’s just not a thing.”
According to a former top Twitter employee, zero former staff members are working on Threads. They also claimed no knowledge of any high-ranking employees who had worked at Meta.
Meanwhile, responding to a tweet announcing the story, Twitter owner Musk remarked, “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”
Meta owns both Instagram and Facebook.
Threads: Not the First Rival
Mastodon and Bluesky, among others, have competed with Twitter since Musk’s acquisition last October. The user interface of Threads, on the other hand, is similar to that of text-based Twitter.
Threads does not, however, permit keyword searches or chat messaging.
According to intellectual property and Stanford law specialist professor Mark Lemley, Twitter would require considerably more information than that provided in the letter to bring an intellectual property suit against Meta.
“The mere hiring of former Twitter employees… is unlikely to support a trade secrets claim,” he said.
According to Jeanne Fromer, a professor at New York University, corporations accused of trade secret theft must demonstrate that they made adequate efforts to secure their secrets. Cases frequently focus on security systems that have been compromised in a certain manner.
The latest Twitter issue comes after a string of unpredictable actions that have angered both users and advertisers. This includes Musk’s most recent decision to restrict the number of tweets that users may read every day.