Elon Musk accuses Mark Zuckerberg of ‘cheating’ to develop ‘copycat’ platform

The new Meta app was launched earlier this week as a “friendly” alternative to Twitter. Already, more than 30 million people have signed up.

It has sparked a legal dispute between Meta and Twitter, with respective bosses Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk taking to social media to trade blows.

This follows a challenge from Mr Musk and acceptance from Mr Zuckerberg a few weeks ago for the pair to settle their rivalry in a cage match.

Mr Zuckerberg broke more than a decade of Twitter silence on Thursday by posting the popular Spider-Man standoff meme which shows two figures of the superhero pointing at each other, seemingly poking fun at the similarities between the rival platforms.

The two sites have many features in common including text chains and the ability to post photos and videos, with Threads not having any paid-for services.

Mr Zuckerberg has said that he has big hopes for Threads, wanting it to get four times the users of Twitter to be the first public conversation app to reach a billion people.

Later on Thursday and with “Threads” trending on Twitter, Mr Musk replied to lots of users who were critiquing Meta’s Threads.

In response to one, he said: “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”

Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino followed this up with a tweet saying: “We’re often imitated but the Twitter community can never be duplicated.”

Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Mr Musk, is now accusing Mr Zuckerberg of “cheating” – hiring ex-Twitter staff to create the new “copycat” platform.

Twitter attorney Alex Spiro wrote to the Meta CEO accusing the company of “systematic, wilful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property” to create Threads.

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He said Mr Zuckerberg had hired dozens of ex-Twitter staff with “access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information”.

Many are calling back to one of Mr Musk’s Tweets from November 2022, where he wished former Twitter engineers the best following significant layoffs.

He said: “I would like to apologise for firing these geniuses. Their immense talent will no doubt be of great use elsewhere.”

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