Elon Musk's Twitter 'threatens to sue Facebook owner Meta over new social site Threads'

6 July 2023, 21:29 | Updated: 6 July 2023, 22:46

Musk vs. Zuckerberg: Meta launches Twitter rival Threads
Musk vs. Zuckerberg: Meta launches Twitter rival Threads. Picture: Getty/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Twitter is threatening to sue Facebook's owner Meta over its new social media platform Threads, it has been claimed.

Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg launched the new social media platform, a platform set to rival the Elon Musk-owned Twitter, on Thursday.

Capitalising on disgruntled Twitter users following widespread changes to the app, Threads' user interface is remarkably similar to that of its social media rival.

Less than a day after its launch, Twitter has written to Mr Zuckerburg to say it "intends to strictly enforce its intellectual property rights" Semafor reports.

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"It demands that Meta take immediate steps to stop using any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information," Twitter lawyer Alex Spiro reportedly wrote in a letter.

Mr Musk then responded on his platform, writing: "Competition is fine, cheating is not".

Created by Mark Zuckerberg, Threads is set to rival Twitter
Created by Mark Zuckerberg, Threads is set to rival Twitter. Picture: LBC / Threads

Twitter has come under fire in recent months following Mr Musk's takeover and mass cost-cutting measures, with the Tesla CEO cutting around 50% of Twitter's 7,500-strong global workforce since his takeover.

Mr Zuckerberg took to Facebook on Thursday to announce the app had passed ten million sign-ups in its first seven hours.

The Meta founder, who now has close to half a million followers on the app, had previously said he aimed to keep the platform "friendly... will ultimately be the key to its success".

However, the Twitter chief retorted on a separate Twitter response: "It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram."

The app is not currently available to users in the European Union.

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With users able to sign up to the app using their Instagram logins, Threads allows users to post up to 500 characters and five minutes of video.

It follows Twitter reverting to its original 140-character limit after doubling it to 280 in 2018 under the leadership of then-CEO Jack Dorsey.

In the UK, all users under the age of 18 will have their accounts set to private by default upon joining.

It follows testimony from Meta’s head of health and wellbeing, Elizabeth Lagone, who was recently involved in a heated exchange about children's access to Instagram during an inquest into the death of schoolgirl Molly Russell.

She said that content viewed by the 14-year-old on the platform, which Molly's family argued in the court case “encourages” suicide and self-harm, was safe.

Users will also be able to share Threads to their Instagram stories with ease as part of the app's cross-promotional design.

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It follows the news Canada’s government pledged to stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

It comes after parent firm Meta blocked access to news content as part of a temporary test.

Heritage minister Pablo Rodriguez announced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government’s decision at a press conference.

Canada’s move is the latest episode in a spat that started after Mr Trudeau’s administration proposed a Bill that would require technology companies to pay publishers for linking to or otherwise repurposing their content online.

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