Elon Musk threatens to sue Microsoft after it announced plan to remove Twitter from its corporate advertising platform
Twitter CEO Elon Musk has threatened to sue Microsoft, accusing the software giant of using Twitter data without permission.
The threat of a lawsuit came in response to Microsoft’s plan to remove Twitter from its corporate advertising platform, as it is refusing to pay Twitter’s API fees.
Elon Musk has also challenged Microsoft in other areas. Last week the Financial Times reported that Musk planned to create an artificial intelligence start-up to rival OpenAI, which Microsoft has heavily backed.
This is despite Elon Musk in 2014 describing AI as “existential threat” to humanity.
Last month Musk also signed an open letter warning that the race to develop AI systems is out of control, and the letter urged a six month pause in its development.
But now it seems Microsoft is not willing to play ball with Musk’s policy changes for Twitter.
In a notice Microsoft announced that “starting on 25 April 2023, Smart Campaigns with Multi-platform will no longer support Twitter.”
Redmond said this means that people will be unable to access their Twitter account through its social management tool; unable to create and manage drafts or Tweets; unable to view past Tweets and engagement, and would be unable to schedule Tweets.
Microsoft did say however that other social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn would continue to be available.
When Microsoft plans to drop Twitter from its advertising platform was tweeted online, Musk replied with his legal action threat.
“They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time,” the Twitter boss replied.
They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2023
When investigative journalist Brian Krassenstein asked Musk if he had a long term plan here, as charging for API access was “killing traffic to Twitter itself from outside sources, Musk expanded on his threat.
“I’m open to ideas, but ripping off the Twitter database, demonetizing it (removing ads) and then selling our data to others isn’t a winning solution,” Musk tweeted in reply.
Musk also recently claimed that Twitter is now roughly breaking even and said that “almost all advertisers have come back or said they are going to come back.”
This is different from what he said in March.
Last month Musk at a Morgan Stanley investor conference said that Twitter had been hit by a “massive decline in advertising,” some of which he said was due to the cyclical nature of ad spending and some of which was “political.”