Update: 4/20 1:59 pm EST – Added comment from Microsoft, last para.
Elon Musk has announced on Twitter that he plans to sue Microsoft for allegedly using Twitter’s data without paying for access.
Elon Musk has long had a tense relationship with other tech giants and their associated higher-ups, notably Microsoft and its ex-CEO Bill Gates. Recently these relationships have become particularly strained following Micosoft’s investment into ChatGPT creator OpenAI and Bill Gate’s criticism of Elon Musk’s investment strategy. Now, this tension has come to a head as Elon Musk has threatened to sue Microsoft over its use of Twitter data.
Elon Musk announced his intention to sue in response to a tweet that announced Microsoft’s intention to stop advertising on Twitter.
They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2023
This potential suit is built on one specific change that Elon Musk implemented in his earliest days at the acquired social media company; he no longer allowed free and public access to Twitter’s API. In essence, Musk turned off the tap of data that developers, researchers, and even rival social media giants were accessing.
In reaction to this change, many businesses, including Microsoft, protested and threatened to leave the platform. Simultaneously, many advertisers chose to leave Twitter following Musk’s acquisition, though it should be noted that the vast majority have already returned.
X Corp. was not immediately available for comment to Teslarati.
Neither Musk nor X Corp. (previously Twitter) has officially filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, and it remains possible that the two could come to some amicable agreement. However, considering the goal that Musk has established for the business (profitability), that could be quite difficult, as highlighted in a tweet reacting to Musk’s announcement.
Twitter does not want to sell their database and the idea of taking away ads is not a good way to make money.
— Bob Is Here To Explain (@ExplainThisBob) April 19, 2023
As for Microsoft, it has yet to respond to the allegations put forward by Elon Musk and may only do so when confronted with an actual lawsuit, not just the threat of one. In a comment to Teslarati, Microsoft stated they have no official response at this time.
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