Why a man is being sued for keeping Twitter followers

Phonedog Media filed a lawsuit for $370,000 against Noah Kravitz for keeping his Twitter account followers. While working for the mobile news website he gained approximately 17,000 twitter followers on his @PhoneDog_Noah account during the four years he worked for them. When he left the account name changed to @NoahKravitz he kept all of his followers. 

The company is now looking to recover damages at a price of $2.50 per follower comes to $370,000 when calculated per month. The company has denied Kravitz claims that he had permission from Phonedog to keep the account. The company released a statement saying that all the resources and expenses associated with increasing the awareness of the brand including getting fans and followers made the things gained through social media the property of Phonedog Media.

There have been six thousand new followers on Noah Kravitz’s Twitter account. This brought his total followers to 22,000 since leaving the company and his position as a blogger. The company filed the lawsuit against Kravitz in July. Noah Kravitz quit his job after almost four years during October 2010 and claims that he was told he could keep the account if he posted tweets on their behalf occasionally. 

The company now claims that the followers are part of a client lists and they want compensation for damages. Kravitz claims that the suit is in retaliation after he claimed his rights to fifteen percent of the gross advertising revenue produced by the site because of his vested partnership. He was also seeking back pay in relation to his blogger and video review position for the site. 

There could be a wider range of ramifications associated with the lawsuit over Mr, Kravitz Twitter account. Social media account ownership will see a precedent established in the Internet world according to New York lawyer Henry J. Cittone. The value set on a Twitter follower for a media company could affect future cases of social media that concern ownership issues.

Columbia Journalism School professor and Sree’s Social Media Guide author Sree Sreenivasan believes that companies allow social media to do what it will if they are smart. He believes that companies that utilize Twitter writers then make them leave behind the followers they have when they leave the company are not as attractive to future recruits. He also believes that Twitter accounts are often overvalued. Kravitz does not understand the lawsuit since he says he has kept his part of the bargain with the company.