Elon Musk sends letter to Satya Nadella, accuses Microsoft of using Twitter data illegally

Elon Musk sends letter to Satya Nadella, accuses Microsoft of using Twitter data illegally
Elon Musk and Satya NadellaFlickr
Elon Musk's personal lawyer has sent a letter to Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, accusing the tech giant of violating Twitter's developer agreement for an extended period of time.

Musk's personal lawyer Alex Spiro said in the letter sent on behalf of Twitter that their recent review of the tech giant's activity on the Microsoft Apps indicates that "Microsoft may have been in violation of multiple provisions of the Agreement for an extended period of time".

Microsoft integrated eight separate Twitter's APIs with its products like Xbox, Bing search and its ads platform.

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By registering and using these eight Twitter API apps (collectively, the Microsoft Apps), the company agreed to comply with Twitter's Developer Agreement and Policy.

Microsoft Apps accessed Twitter's APIs over 780 million times and retrieved over 26 billion tweets in 2022 alone, according to the letter.


"Indeed, for one of the Microsoft Apps, Microsoft's account information outright states that it intends to allow its customers to "go around throttling limits," the letter stated.

Outgoing Twitter CEO last month threatened to sue Microsoft over claims that the company "trained illegally using Twitter data".

Musk reacted after Microsoft dropped Twitter from its advertising platform as it allegedly refused to pay Twitter's application programming interface (API) fees.

"They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time," said Musk in a tweet.

The Spiro letter to Nadella, however, does not say anything about taking legal action.

A Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge that they heard from a law firm representing Twitter with some questions about "our previous use of the free Twitter API".

"We will review these questions and respond appropriately. We look forward to continuing our long term partnership with the company," the spokesperson added.

The Spiro letter said that the terms of the Agreement require Microsoft to provide its "full cooperation and assistance" with the requested compliance audit.

"We look forward to your prompt and full cooperation in this matter. Please provide a date certain by which Microsoft will provide the requested information, and, in any event, no later than June 7, 2023," it added.


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