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Musk threatens to sue Meta for using Twitter trade secrets to launch Threads

Yesterday’s presentation of Threads, the new ‘microblogging’ application with which Meta intends to become Twitter’s main competitor, received a response within a few hours from Elon Musk, since a lawyer from X Corp, the company of the tycoon who controls the social network, has threatened to sue Mark Zuckerberg’s company for appropriating trade secrets and intellectual property of the company for the development of its own platform.

In a letter sent to Zuckerberg on behalf of X Corp by attorney Alex Spiro, from the Quinn Emanuel law firm, the owner of Twitter accuses Meta Platforms of carrying out “systematic, deliberate and unlawful misappropriation of trade secrets and other property Twitter intellectual”.

X Corp’s lawyer alleges that the company that owns Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp hired dozens of former Twitter employees who “had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information” assigning them “deliberately” to develop in a matter of months of the ‘Threads’ application, which he calls an “imitation”.

In this sense, it accuses Meta of seeking to accelerate the development of ‘Threads’ through the use of Twitter trade secrets and other intellectual property “in violation of state and federal laws, as well as the obligations of those employees with Twitter “.

Thus, the letter warns 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.

“Twitter reserves all rights, including, among others, the right to seek civil and injunctive relief without further notice to prevent Meta from retaining, disclosing, or further using its intellectual property,” the lawyer warns in his letter, to which The American publication ‘Semafor’ had first access.

Threads has an ‘interface’ very similar to that of Twitter and its operation is also the same. That is, you can create short text posts, in which conversion threads can be developed and limit who responds to those posts.

Although Threads is a completely independent platform, it is related to Instagram. So much so, that to navigate through it, the same user account is used as in said social network. In fact, the same username and profile photo are used.

Based on this, Threads has an option that allows users to automatically follow the same accounts that they previously followed on Instagram. In the event that any of these accounts are not yet in Threads, they will be shown as pending to join and, in the event that they are private, a follow-up request will be sent to them.

In the same way, users with a private profile can also configure if their Instagram followers can also follow them in Threads automatically or if, on the contrary, only some specific accounts can. As for users under the age of 16, they will have a default private profile.

As Instagram has explained in a statement on its blog, users will be able to create text posts of up to 500 characters and include links, photos and videos of up to 5 minutes in length. Thus, the main ‘feed’ will consist of threads published by the accounts that are followed and recommended content from new creators. Likewise, the platform has detailed that a Threads publication can be “easily” shared in Instagram stories or as a link on any other platform.

On the other hand, another of the characteristics of Threads is that it is an open space that will be able to connect to other decentralized social networks such as Mastodon, since it will integrate the ActivityPub protocol, although not at the time of its launch. As they have specified, they are still working to make it compatible with open and interoperable social networks that “can shape the future of the Internet.”

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