Twitter's eroding reign over microblogging may collapse as Meta's new platform, Threads, emerges as a serious contender, with a staggering 30 million users signing up on launch day.
Increasingly unstable billionaire Elon Musk reacted to the launch with a bizarrely self-owning tweet that said, "It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter than to indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram." (Note to titular CEO Yaccarino: could be Twitter's new motto? "Get attacked by strangers for just $84 a year!")
Musk supplemented his tweet with a legal threat against Meta that echoed despair and fear in the face of his potent adversary. The lawsuit alleges Meta of enticing Twitter's former employees — many of whom Musk dismissed without honoring severance promises — to contribute to Threads, a move that Twitter asserts infringes upon its intellectual property rights.
"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," Spiro wrote in a letter obtained exclusively by Semafor. "Twitter reserves all rights, including, but not limited to, the right to seek both civil remedies and injunctive relief without further notice to prevent any further retention, disclosure, or use of its intellectual property by Meta."
Spiro accused Meta of hiring dozens of former Twitter employees who "had and continue to have access to Twitter's trade secrets and other highly confidential information."
After picking tiny Zuckerberg to a fight, Musk got cold feed and claimed his mom forbade it. He has good reason to be scared that Zuck will beat him in the marketplace, too. Meta holds a formidable resource advantage over Twitter. It has a track record of killing competition — as exhibited by Instagram Stories' impact on Snapchat and Reels' competition with TikTok. Threads' integrated access to Instagram's vast user base accelerates the typically arduous process of amassing a fresh user base.
Musk's legal salvo against Meta is pure desperation — a frantic effort to prevent Threads from driving the last nail into the coffin of his attacker-enabling platform.