An ex-employee of mobile specialist PhoneDog in the US is being sued over his Twitter account. Noah Kravitz worked as a reviewer and blogger for PhoneDog for four years, during which time his @phonedog_noah Twitter account achieved 17,000 followers.
When he left the company earlier this year, he changed the name of his account to @noahkravitz and carried on tweeting as normal, but PhoneDog has filed a suit against him, saying the Twitter account and its 17,000 followers belong to them.
I’ve previously written about a similar Twitter ownership dispute in the UK.
PhoneDog says Kravitz was allowed to use the account while he worked for them and that the followers were following the company. Kravitz counters that he set up the account himself using his personal email and was personally responsible for it. In a post that appeared briefly on Facebook before the post disappeared, a former colleague of Kravitz at PhoneDog said the president had previously acknowledged that Twitter accounts of staff were personal.
Kravitz refused to hand over the account when asked by his former company, so they have sued him for $340,000 (valuing each follower at $2.50 per month over the time since he left the company). If a court decides in the company’s favour, an important precedent will be set that will affect millions of users of not only Twitter but also Facebook, Google Plus and other social networks.