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Who owns your Twitter account? Check out this lawsuit

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posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 10:36 AM
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This is an interesting lawsuit about the ownership of social media. If you have an account on a social media site, and you use your account as a tool to reach customers or clients, this lawsuit is very important to you.

news.cnet.com...


Who really owns your Twitter account, anyway?
  • That's the question at the heart of a lawsuit that could redefine the right of employers to seize and make use of employees' social-media accounts.

  • OK, technically the answer is, "Twitter." But it's obviously more complicated than that.

    For four years, writer Noah Kravitz produced reviews and video blogs for the mobile-phone site phonedog.com. During the same period, he also posted on Twitter under the handle @PhoneDog_Noah, eventually gathering 17,000 followers. When Kravitz left PhoneDog in October 2010, he changed his Twitter handle to @noahkravitz and continued using the account--with PhoneDog's blessing, he asserts. (More than a year later, @noahkravitz has 22,158 followers.)

    PhoneDog, however, apparently had second thoughts. Eight months after Kravitz left ("on good terms," he told the NYT), PhoneDog sued him, claiming that Kravitz's Twitter followers represented a customer list, that Kravitz had failed to relinquish the Twitter account when asked, and that he had therefore misappropriated trade secrets and interfered with PhoneDog's business to the tune of $340,000--$2.50 per follower per month.

    PhoneDog did not reply to an e-mail seeking comment, and it remains anything but clear just how it assigned that sort of value to Kravitz's Twitter followers. Especially given how few people actually click on links in tweets--often estimated at somewhere between 1 percent and 4 percent of followers.

    Still, it's clear that these sorts of economic considerations--however calculated--will continue to loom large for companies that encourage employees to use social-media tools to reach customers and audiences. And the potential conflict looms largest in cases where employees tap their personal social-media networks on their employer's behalf.


  • So what does everyone think? Does the account belong to the individual that created and used it, or to a company that feels that this is a "customer list"?

    I do think that establishing a monetary value of the "customer list" is ridiculous. There is no way to verify what any of these "customers" would have contributed to the income of the company.....and the charge of the individual misappropriating trade secrets is absolutely insane.....If there were "trade secrets", a twitter account containing them is not very "secret".




    posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 10:46 AM
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    With hopes, everyone on that list will hear about it and give serious negative feedback.. Maybe then the greedy bastards will loose their asses and go bankrupt.

    One could hope!


    The owner of the account should be the one who created it. But wow! what a dumb idea to use someone elses business for a login id. That's silly. I would never do this. I'm suprised that they didnt try to sue him for using the company name in the first place.






    edit on 27-12-2011 by theRhenn because: forgot a word




    posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 10:51 AM
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    Sounds like a money grab from a money hungry company. A pretty pitiful deal if you ask me.

    To me, this is like a phone company telling me that they're charging me for my contact list if I cancel my phone contract and the phone is technically theirs, and my contacts are a customer list.



    posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 11:16 AM
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    What you don't know is if this person actually stole customers due to his departure. Not enough facts presented to make an unbiased judgement.



    posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 11:42 AM
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    work and play should be kept seperate imo - if you choose to use your facebook or twitter feed to promote or otherwise comment on your place of work you're treading a risky path, and not just for scenerio's as extreme as this.



    posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 12:00 PM
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    Originally posted by digitalf
    work and play should be kept seperate imo - if you choose to use your facebook or twitter feed to promote or otherwise comment on your place of work you're treading a risky path, and not just for scenerio's as extreme as this.


    What is phonedog anyway some sort of review site? people are employed there or just members using a site to express themselfes? Ive never heard of them till now.
    edit on 27-12-2011 by Foxy1 because: (no reason given)



    posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 12:06 PM
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    Originally posted by EspyderMan
    What you don't know is if this person actually stole customers due to his departure. Not enough facts presented to make an unbiased judgement.


    maybe the customers they claim he stole were only using phonedog for his reviews and nothing else.
    I mean maybe they wouldnt have had that customer list in the first place if it werent for him working there.
    sort of like infringing on his personal popularity.
    If he changed his twitter handle like the article says, how can they be mad about anything, or prove that his following did indeed use phonedog while he was employed there?



    posted on Dec, 27 2011 @ 12:29 PM
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    reply to post by Foxy1
     



    Phone Dog appears to be a website covering various topics about cell phone technology.
    It gives reviews of new phones, discussions about batteries, and other news related to cellphone use.

    www.phonedog.com...


    edit on 27-12-2011 by isyeye because: (no reason given)



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