On July 6, Meta officially launched Threads, “Twitter-killer app,” as a response to Twitter’s drastic changes since Elon Musk’s acquisition in 2022. With people’s demand for a Twitter alternative, Threads hit 100 million users in just a week. However, less than 24 hours after Threads’ launch, Twitter threatened to sue Meta. 

Alex Spiro, Twitter’s lawyer, accused Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg of “unlawful willful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property,” in a letter obtained by Sifamor. Twitter claims that Meta hired previous employees who “had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information.” These employees, according to Spiro, have ongoing obligations to the company and “improperly retained Twitter documents and electronic devices.”

Spiro emphasized that “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 continued that Meta deliberately hired and assigned said employees to develop the “Twitter copycat” using Twitter’s intellectual property to develop the app faster. It’s worth noting that Meta announced starting the coding for Threads in January. 

In the final part of his letter, Spiro reminded Meta to “preserve any documents that could be relevant to a dispute between Twitter, Meta, and/or former Twitter employees who now work for Meta.”

In response to these claims, Andy Stone, Meta’s communications director, said that the Threads team does not have former Twitter employees. However, Musk backed up Spiro’s letter by tweeting, “Competition is fine, cheating is not.” Linda Yaccarino, Twitter CEO, also said in a tweet that the Twitter community is irreplaceable and that it cannot be duplicated. 

We will monitor the development of this story, whether or not former Twitter employees used the company’s intellectual property to develop Threads.