Washington (CNN) Twitter is accusing Microsoft of misusing its platform’s data access privileges, in the latest sign that social network owner Elon Musk is igniting a feud between the two tech companies.
In a three-page letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella — and sent by Alex Spiro, Musk’s outside attorney — Twitter accuses Microsoft of overusing its ability to download tweets from the platform, in alleged violation of the social media company’s terms.
Microsoft products, including Xbox One, Bing, Azure, Power Platform and Microsoft Ads, “retrieved more than 26 billion tweets in 2022 alone,” according to the letter, The level of use that she said could be considered “excessive or offensive”.
“Our recent review of Microsoft’s activity on Microsoft Apps indicates that Microsoft may have violated multiple provisions of the agreement for an extended period of time,” the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by CNN, reads. Developer Agreement.
The letter also listed a number of other alleged violations, including an apparent failure to identify the purpose of some Microsoft data collection and, in other cases, the use of data in connection with “automation capabilities” subject to Twitter’s restrictions.
The letter comes as Twitter races to find ways to boost revenue and cut costs after Musk took on significant debt to help fund his $44 billion acquisition of the company.
Microsoft refused to pay Twitter to maintain its access to the data through the Twitter Application Programming Interface (API) after Twitter erected a paywall seeking to charge for the data, according to the letter. The letter called on Microsoft to provide information about the past two years of use of the Twitter API, with a deadline of June 7.
“We heard from the law firm representing Twitter some questions about our past use of the free Twitter API. We will review these questions and respond appropriately,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with the company.”
In recent months, Musk has stepped up his criticism of Microsoft as a perceived competitor in the development of artificial intelligence, an area that relies heavily on ingesting publicly available online content such as tweets.
After Twitter announced plans this year to charge for API access — which it later learned could cost it up to $210,000 per month — Microsoft’s advertising platform said it would no longer support integration with Twitter.
Musk responded with a tweet say Microsoft “illegally” used Twitter data to train its artificial intelligence and warned it was time to file a lawsuit. he is too Accused Microsoft is “looting Twitter’s database, demonetizing it (removing ads) and then selling our data to others.”
In another tweet earlier this year, Musk Criticize OpenAI, the manufacturer of ChatGPT, for being “effectively controlled by Microsoft”. Microsoft has invested billions in ChatGPT’s creator OpenAI and has integrated ChatGPT into its Bing search engine. But Nadella said this week in an interview with CNBC that Musk’s claim of control is “actually incorrect.”
“We have a non-controlling interest in it, and we have a significant business partnership in it,” Nadella said of OpenAI.
Musk’s targeting of Microsoft over its investments in artificial intelligence appears closely related to his sweeping criticism of current AI models. Musk has vowed to develop a competing artificial intelligence he calls “TruthGPT” to counter what he describes as excessive political correctness in mainstream paradigms.
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