Twitter is preparing for a potential legal battle against Meta, the parent company of Instagram, over allegations of trade secret theft and staff poaching. Meta recently introduced Threads, a text-based companion app to Instagram that has gained significant popularity, with 30 million sign-ups within 24 hours.
In a letter obtained by Semafor, Twitter’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, accused Meta of engaging in “systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property.” The letter claims that Meta deliberately hired former Twitter employees who had access to confidential information and trade secrets, assigning them to develop the Threads app.
Twitter is demanding that Meta immediately cease the use of any Twitter trade secrets or confidential information. Spiro emphasized that Twitter intends to enforce its intellectual property rights and reserves the right to seek civil remedies and injunctive relief against Meta.
Additionally, Twitter’s letter highlights that Meta is prohibited from scraping data from any Twitter service without permission. Twitter’s Terms of Service explicitly forbids crawling follower or following data without following the rules stated in the robots.txt file.
Meta denies the allegations put forth by Twitter. Andy Stone, the communications director for Meta, stated that Twitter’s accusations are without merit. Stone specifically refuted the claim that the Threads engineering team includes former Twitter employees, asserting that it is simply untrue.
The potential legal dispute between Twitter and Meta highlights the intensifying competition in the social media industry. As Meta’s Threads app gains significant user attention, Twitter is determined to protect its intellectual property and prevent any further misuse by its rival.