Elon Musk threatens to sue Microsoft over Twitter data

  • By Annabelle Liang
  • Business reporter

image source, Getty Images

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has threatened to sue Microsoft after accusing the tech giant of using data from his social media company without permission.

“They illegally trained using Twitter data. Trial time,” the multi-billionaire said in a tweet.

Musk was responding to Microsoft’s plan to remove Twitter from its corporate advertising platform.

He did not provide further details or evidence to support the claim.

Microsoft declined to comment when contacted by the BBC on Thursday.

Earlier, the company said in a statement that its ad platform “will no longer support Twitter” as of Tuesday, April 25.

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As a result, ad buyers would not be able to access their Twitter accounts through Microsoft’s social management tools.

“Other social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn will continue to be available,” Microsoft said.

Twitter’s press email answered a question with a regular poo emoji.

In a separate tweetin discussing the social media platform’s data, Musk said he was “open to ideas”.

“But ripping off the Twitter database, demonetizing it (removing ads) and then selling our data to others is not a winning solution,” he added.

In February, Twitter began charging for the data it collects from “hundreds of millions” of users, with a basic plan starting at $100 a month.

Since buying Twitter for $44bn (£35.4bn) in October, Musk has cut his workforce by around 80% and moved to shore up the company’s finances through measures including charging users for “blue tick” verification.

In recent months, major companies, including iPhone maker Apple, have reportedly stopped advertising on the platform due to concerns about how content was moderated on the site.

In November, Musk said Twitter had seen a “massive” drop in revenue and accused activists of squeezing advertisers.

Speaking to the BBC last week, he said Twitter had only months to live when he took over. He also said “almost all advertisers have come back or said they’re going to come back” to Twitter.

Musk added that Twitter could be profitable by the second quarter of 2023, and he would be willing to sell the company if the right person came along.

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Watch: Elon Musk’s unexpected BBC interview… in 90 seconds

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