Yesterday, Facebook Meta launched their new app, Threads, with a vision to “create an open and friendly public space for conversation” for over 1 billion people.
The launch was met with immediate resistance as Twitter threatened to sue Mark Zuckerberg and Meta shortly after the launch of the app.
Twitter issued a cease & desist letter to Meta regarding Threads, accusing them of hiring dozens of former Twitter employees who still possess access to the social media platform’s trade secrets.
Elon Musk also chimed in with his own threat of suing Meta over their new “Twitter killer” app. Attorney Alex Spiro has even gone so far as to claim that Meta had assigned these former employees to use Twitter’s intellectual property for developing Threads.
These accusations were further backed up by former CEO Jack Dorsey who noted that Threads was already collecting user data shortly after its launch; raising serious concerns about where this data is going and how it’s being used.
Furthermore, given the similarities between Threads and Twitter, some have speculated whether or not Facebook is using stolen trade secrets from its competitor in order to create an app that would compete directly against them on the market.
— jack (@jack) July 4, 2023
And Zero Hedge noted that Threads was already censoring undesirable voices. It is owned by Mark Zuckerberg, after all!
As journalist Michael Shellenberger notes,
Within a few hours of launching, Threads was already secretly censoring users and not offering them the right to appeal.
Meta is already too powerful. One company controls what much of the public is allowed to see. And if Threads succeeds, it will have 80% of the global market outside of Russia and China, according to one industry insider. As such, it’s reasonable to expect that Meta will censor precisely the same way the large news media corporations, including the New York Times, and corporate advertisers want it to. More censorship is what the mainstream news media, big corporations, and their celebrity pitch people have been demanding.…additionally, Unlike Twitter, Threads collects data about “Health & Fitness,” “Financial Info,” “Sensitive Info,” and “Other Data.”
It goes without saying that this entire situation will likely come down to two very important questions: Does Facebook own any intellectual property rights associated with Threads? And do they have legal basis for using any information or technology from Twitter?
If either answer comes out positive then we could potentially be looking at one of the biggest IP disputes in recent years which could result in huge fines for both parties involved if found guilty of stealing each other’s data or infringing upon copyright laws.