Musk’s Cease-and-Desist Letter Claims Meta Hired Fired Twitter Employees to Create Rival App
SAN FRANCISCO – A few months ago, Elon Musk, the controversial entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla, fired a significant portion of Twitter staff, leaving the company reeling. Musk, known for his audacious moves, dismissed the employees, citing their talents being better suited elsewhere. However, his actions have sparked outrage and have now led to a potential legal battle with Meta, the parent company of Facebook.
Musk’s attorney, Alex Spiro, wasted no time in sending a cease-and-desist letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, accusing the company of hiring numerous former Twitter employees to develop Threads, a text-based app that directly competes with Twitter. The letter alleges that these employees have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and confidential information, implying that Meta engaged in unlawful misappropriation of intellectual property.
According to sources, Meta does employ a handful of ex-Twitter employees, but they are not involved in the development of Threads. Meta’s communications director, Andy Stone, categorically denied the claims, stating that no former Twitter employees are part of the Threads engineering team. However, Musk’s attorney remains firm in his accusations, although he has declined to provide further comment.
Andy Stone, a Meta spokesperson, flatly dismissed the letter. “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing,” he wrote on the platform.
In the months since Musk paid RM205.46 billion for Twitter 2, the social network has faced competition from a growing number of smaller microblogging platforms, including the decentralised social network Mastodon and Bluesky 2, an alternative backed by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. However, neither Twitter nor Facebook has threatened legal action.
Unlike some of Twitter’s competitors, Threads has grown rapidly, with Zuckerberg reporting 30 million user sign-ups on the app’s first day. Threads was the number one free app on the iOS App Store as of Thursday afternoon.
Twitter’s Controversial Changes Fuel Meta’s Expansion
The controversy surrounding Musk’s takeover of Twitter has been ongoing since he acquired the platform and initiated mass layoffs, reducing the workforce by almost 80%. Musk has publicly expressed little remorse for his actions, even going so far as to sarcastically apologize for firing the “geniuses” he let go. This move caused a significant backlash, with critics questioning his decision-making and management style.
While Musk was making headlines with his dismissals, Twitter experienced a period of turmoil, as controversial changes were introduced. Under Musk’s leadership, the platform implemented looser content moderation rules and a paid verification process, raising concerns about the company’s commitment to responsible and ethical practices.
Meta, seizing the opportunity presented by the chaos at Twitter, has been planning the launch of Threads for months. The app was officially released and received an astonishing 30 million sign-ups within the first 24 hours, according to Zuckerberg. The rapid uptake of Threads signals a potential threat to Twitter’s user base and could pose a significant challenge to the platform’s dominance in the social media landscape.
As the legal battle between Musk and Meta looms, the consequences of Musk’s actions and Meta’s aggressive expansion strategy remain uncertain. The fate of the former Twitter employees caught in the middle hangs in the balance, while the users of both Twitter and Threads await the resolution of this high-stakes clash between tech giants. – Reuters