Twitter Accuses Microsoft of Misusing its Data

    Twitter Accuses Microsoft of Misusing its Data
    Last updated May 20, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • On Thursday, Elon Musk's Lawyer, Alex Spiro, sent a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella accusing his company of violating "multiple provisions" of Twitter's developer agreement "for an extended period of time."[1]
    • Musk previously accused Microsoft and its partner, OpenAI, of "illegally" using Twitter data to develop AI systems such as ChatGPT. However, this letter only mentioned alleged data overuse exceeding "reasonable request volume" and "excessive or abusive usage."[2]
    • Twitter applications (APIs), including Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Sprinklr, were previously free for some researchers, partners, and developers who agreed to Twitter's terms. However, the letter argues that last month Microsoft "declined to pay even a discounted rate for continued access to Twitter's APIs and content."[3]
    • Microsoft had used Twitter data via its API for years for products such as Xbox and Bing but began distancing itself from the platform once it began charging $50K a month for using its data.[4]
    • As Twitter's agreement enforces rate limits on the use of its APIs for all developers, the letter states that "Microsoft Apps accessed Twitter's APIs over 780M times and retrieved over 26B tweets in 2022 alone." It also accused Microsoft of sharing data with government agencies without permission.[5]
    • Though it is unknown if this will culminate into a lawsuit, and Microsoft said it would "review" and "respond appropriately" to the letter, the accusations come as Musk continues to criticize ChatGPT for being "politically correct" and is reportedly looking to create his own chatbot called "TruthGPT."[4]


    Narrative A

    Twitter and Microsoft have been at loggerheads since Musk left ChatGPT's creator OpenAI, and Nadella invested billions and integrated the AI bot into its Bing search engine. This letter is full of ambiguous accusations that are part of Musk's plan to arm-twist Microsoft and are closely linked to his TruthGPT, a rival AI bot.

    Narrative B

    While Musk's latest accusations are ambiguous, vague, and incendiary, it's important to note that other platforms, such as Reddit, have also accused AI firms of building their programs with other companies' data without paying. AI programs like ChatGPT are developed by collecting data from all over the internet, which needs investigation.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that OpenAI will announce GPT-5 by December 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Articles on this story

    Sign up to our newsletter!