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Elon Musk Threatens to Sue Microsoft Over Alleged Illegal Data Usage

Darren Maung
Darren is an aspiring writer who wishes to share or create stories to the world and bring humanity together as one. A massive Star Wars nerd and history buff, he finds enjoyable, heart-warming or interesting subjects in any written media.
Published: April 27, 2023
Microsoft Corporation Co-founder Paul G. Allen and Tesla Motors CEO and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk attend the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit Cocktail Party on Oct. 8, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Image: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Microsoft has been placed in the crosshairs of Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who has threatened to sue the company for allegedly using his social media platform’s data “without permission.” This comes after the former dropped Twitter from one of its advertising platforms, due to a hefty price Musk had asked for access.

Another pending legal case

Musk said that Microsoft “trained illegally using Twitter data,” in response to a tweet by Microsoft announcing it was ceasing support for Twitter. This meant that ad buyers would not be able to log into their Twitter accounts through Microsoft’s social management tool.

“They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time,” Musk said on Twitter.

Microsoft said it was not supporting Twitter after Musk asked for too high a price for access to Twitter’s API. The price tag is said to be around $42,000 a month. The company also said it would continue to allow other social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin to be available via the platform.

Musk also said that he was “open to ideas” about Twitter’s data.

“But ripping off the Twitter database, demonetizing it (removing ads) and then selling our data to others isn’t a winning solution,” he added. 

According to Futurism, Musk seems to believe Microsoft allowed its partner OpenAI to train its AI models without Twitter’s permission. While the two are different companies, Microsoft did invest $10 billion in OpenAI and implemented its GPT-4 language model into the Bing search engine.

Futurism also wrote that Musk’s threat came after Reddit announced it will charge AI companies for model training using data from its site.


In February, Twitter began charging for collected data from “hundreds of millions” of users. Their basic plan costs $100 a month. Such data would be used to “manage and track every aspect of your social media presence,” the site said, according to the BBC.

Though it remains to be seen if Musk would actually sue Microsoft, his track record for legal action in long, including against the creator of the @ElonJet Twitter account, Jack Sweeney. Sweeney created an account in 2020 to chart the flights of Musk’s private jet, in an attempt to study his “business empire,” The Washington Post wrote.

Since his $44 billion buyout of Twitter in October 2022, Musk has made move after move, capturing the attention of the media. 

After cutting the company’s workforce by 80 percent and implementing measures like charging users for the “blue tick” verification, he has also been hit by a “massive” drop in revenue, pinning the blame on activists for driving advertisers away.

However, Musk told the BBC that “almost all advertisers have come back or said they are going to come back,” after saying that Twitter had only months to live.

Many companies, including Apple, have stopped their advertising on Twitter over concerns about Musk’s adjustments to the site’s moderation.