Elon Musk Suggests Twitter Will Sue Microsoft For Illegally Using Its Data

Elon Musk says it's "lawsuit time" against Microsoft because the company supposedly trained its products "illegally" using Twitter data. Musk's bombshell comment — which was published on Twitter — came after Microsoft dropped the company from its ad platform. Earlier today, Microsoft announced that "starting on April 25, 2023, Smart Campaigns with Multi-platform will no longer support Twitter." 

Advertisers have also been told that the Digital Marketing Center (DMC) will be shunning Twitter support on the same day. What that means is marketers won't be able to access their Twitter feed from Microsoft's social media management dashboard. Microsoft's announcement doesn't mention an unwillingness to pay for Twitter APIs, but it appears that might be the case here. 

In February, Twitter announced the end of free access to Twitter API, cutting off access to its online data. For personal usage, they begin at $100 per month, but the Enterprise tier starts at $42,000 per month. All of this happened at a time when advertisers were abandoning Twitter, and Musk was desperately trying to cut costs with aggressive restructuring. The move didn't go down well, and a lot of businesses as well as academics made it clear that they won't pay — or be able to pay — the API fee.

Some think the threat is a diversion tactic

Musk recently tweeted that ChatGPT-creator OpenAI had "become a closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft." The billionaire was among the founding figures of OpenAI alongside its current CEO Sam Altman. At one point, Musk sought to purchase the company, but the deal never materialized. Instead, it was Microsoft that poured billions of dollars into OpenAI, and it went on a dramatic spree to integrate OpenAI tools into its suite of commercial Office products.

A few weeks ago, Musk signed an open letter asking for a six-month pause on the development of advanced AI products like GPT-4 citing serious risks. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates dismissed those claims, noting that such a pause won't "solve the challenges." Musk, on the other hand, claimedthat Gates' "understanding of AI was limited. Still is." In the past, the two have quarreled over everything from space travel, COVID-19, and bitcoin to electric cars and climate change. It will be interesting to see if Musk can present evidence of Microsoft illegally using Twitter data or if, as some have speculated, the tweet is simply meant to divert attention away from Tesla's latest financial numbers.