Twitter sends a verbal message to Microsoft because Elon is crazy

Twitter has accused Microsoft of improperly collecting the social media company’s data to build apps, according to a report Friday in the Journal. The New York Times. The news comes exactly one month after Microsoft dropped Twitter from its advertising platform, prompting an angry tweet from the world’s most famous billionaire, Elon Musk.

They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time,” Musk tweeted at the time.

The charge comes in a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent by Alex Spiro, one of Musk’s personal attorneys. “As you are no doubt aware, Microsoft has for years used standard Twitter developer APIs free of charge in order to leverage Twitter data and services in key Microsoft products that generate tens of billions of dollars in revenue for Microsoft annually,” Spiro wrote. . The letter outlines a number of allegations, and demands a review of all the ways Microsoft has suddenly collected and used precious Twitter data.

Context usually comes after the content in an article, but let’s start with the fun part. Mr. Billionaire Business Maverick has a little pattern going on here. On Twitter, Elon continues to make Wild Decisions that, at least according to what social media critics say, seem reckless and ill-considered. When this affects big tech companies like Apple and Microsoft, they won’t tolerate it, in part because they understand that business is ostensibly about business, not about feelings. Then Elon gets upset and calls them out on Twitter, all the while acting like he’s the reasonable one. here we go again!

If you want to understand the billionaire-on-millionaire drama (Microsoft’s Nadella is worth about $861 million), you need three sentences of technical knowledge. he deserves it. Basically, Elon started charging for a tool that was always free. Microsoft didn’t want to pay for it, so it didn’t part with any money, and Elon looked offended.

Twitter is a platform, which means it hopes other people will build cool apps and other things on top of it. To encourage this, Twitter provides an “application programming interface,” or API, a tool that allows computer programs to talk to each other and exchange data. Other social media companies like Facebook and TikTok have APIs as well, and they are usually free because the arrangement is mutually beneficial. Well, the technology explanation is over.

The Twitter API has always been free. Then Elon Musk appeared and said Everyone had to pay for it. This is not normal – and hostile to companies and developers who have spent years working with Twitter.

Microsoft is (or was) a regular user of the Twitter API. Nobody has a problem with that, at least not with any kind of public tantrums. According to Musk’s threat letter, Microsoft has integrated the API with apps including Xbox One Social, Bing Pages, Azure, and Microsoft Ads platform.

The letter says Microsoft used the API in several ways that violated Twitter’s terms of service. For example, Twitter throttles the rate at which you can collect data, but “despite these limitations, Microsoft apps accessed Twitter APIs more than 780 million times and retrieved more than 26 billion tweets in 2022 alone,” it states. stated in the letter. The letter also says that Microsoft did not disclose all of the ways it used Twitter data, which also violates its terms of service. CNBC has obtained a copy of the letter, which you can read here. Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Twitter press email now automatically He responds with a poop emoji.

Earlier this year, Musk announced that the once free API would become a paid service. This had a number of consequences that Elon did not consider or take seriously. One of them is I smashed a lot of fun Twitter bots that everyone likes (eg this, which tweets whenever The New York Times publishes a word that has not been in the paper before). You can tell Musk that he didn’t think through this plan because… kept changing for him Think about how you will succeed when people make fun of him.

The right to tweet or download tweets is something that not many organizations seem willing to pay for. New York City, for example, said so Close its MTA bot Which tweeted about the subway delays, until Twitter said, “Wait, actually, sorry, you don’t have to pay.”

Microsoft also said that it will not pay for the Twitter API. This is a much bigger deal, because Microsoft used the Twitter API to replicate the social media company in its advertising ecosystem. Twitter wants most companies to pay $42,000 a month to use the API. Microsoft’s response was substantialfor me “No, thanks, we will not pay for the right to share advertising revenue with you.”

This prompted Musk’s “time of action” tweet and threatening letter. If I unpack this for a moment, it doesn’t make much sense. If Microsoft is violating the Twitter Terms, that will be true whether Microsoft pays for the API or not. It almost feels like protection money: you can break our rules, but only if you pay us. Twitter Bad need for advertising money. The company makes nearly every dollar of its revenue from advertising, and Twitter’s list of top advertisers went awry when Musk took over.

Advertising is based on something called “brand safety,” you want to make sure your ads don’t appear next to racism, for example, because that means you support it. Too bad, that Hate speech skyrocketed on Twitter right after Musk bought the company. The concern isn’t hypothetical: Elon unbanned many then-famous white nationalists Twitter ran ads on their profiles.

This issue certainly relates to Musk’s recent decision to step down as CEO and hire a former advertising director at NBCUniversal Linda Iaccarino is in his place. (Elon will remain as CTO and CEO. So he’s both subordinate and president of Yaccarino. I wonder how it goes!)

Musk has a poor track record when it comes to competing head-to-head with other big companies. Apple pulled back its ad spending on Twitter ads amid the chaos of Elon’s early days. You might think that you would reassure companies who are worried that your platform might make them look bad. But not Elon. He is playing four-dimensional chess. Musk criticized Apple, asking his millions of followers if Apple took this step because it “hates freedom of speech”. He also tweeted that he was “going to war” with the iPhone maker, a message he later deleted.

Here’s how that “war” broke out. Apple CEO Tim Cook invited Elon to visit the Apple campus. If you know what they were talking about, I beg you to email me, because on the same day, Musk completely changed his tune. He started not just stopped criticizing Apple to praise The company thanked Cook for his hospitality and his murmurs about the company’s “beautiful home”. Whatever Cook said to Elon, it turned him from a threat into a lap dog.

Maybe Musk’s war on Microsoft will get better. At least in this case, there is a slightly better reason for the vitriol.

There is a broader debate going on in the tech industry. For about a decade, all of the big tech companies have closed off their little gardens with walls. Meta has done the social media. Google had web tools like Search, Gmail, Chrome, and YouTube. Apple made phones. Microsoft made boring software for businesses. Twitter, so small compared to these giants, was just glad it was there. There was a lot of crossover, but most of these companies didn’t really compete with each other. They all had their own things going.

Suddenly, that changes. Microsoft fires for Google search work. Apple wants a cut of the targeted Meta ads money. And almost everyone, out of nowhere, is having a fierce battle over AI. you need a lot From data to training AI algorithms, companies like Twitter and Reddit have plenty of it.

Musk really wants to be a part of this AI party. He invested $50 million or so in OpenAI in its early stages (Musk keeps giving different numbers). Musk said recently Tucker Carlson He is in the process of building an artificial intelligence called “the truthAn anti-Wake alternative to ChatGPT. Luckily for anyone who likes to hear subtle things about racism and history, you can bet you’ll never see TruthGPT. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s the self-sabotaging humiliation machine Elon Musk does not keep his promises.

for the supposed conflict It’s all about business, it seems To have a lot of feelings. This may be related to the fact that Microsoft was one of many organizations that refused to give Musk bail when he tried to change his mind about buying Twitter. text messages That surfaced in a lawsuit that showed Musk and Nadella had been in touch, and it appears that Musk shared some great ideas about Microsoft Teams, the company’s chat software. Nadella text message caught”We’ll definitely be following up on Teams feedback! We don’t know, however, if this follow-up came before.

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