It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
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.
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.
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.