Phonedog, a website for all things mobile, is suing a former employee Noah Kravitz for $340,000. The lawsuit filed in July claims that Kravitz “used the Account to disseminate information and promote PhoneDog’s services on behalf of PhoneDog.”
While he was working at the site, Kravitz used the Twitter account @PhoneDog_Noah where he would tweet links to his own articles, his colleagues as well as updates on his personal life. When he resigned in October of 2010, the company asked him to get rid of the account, but instead Kravitz changed the handle to @noahkravitz.
According to Phonedog’s lawsuit, Kravitz “is attempting to discredit PhoneDog and destroy the confidence that PhoneDog’s users have in PhoneDog” through continued use of the Twitter account.
How did they come up with the $340,000? At 17,000 followers at the time the claim was made, the plaintiff valued each follower of the account at $2.50. The account currently has over 23,000 followers.
While the lawsuit has not been resolved, this brings up a bigger issue of the law vs social media. Who owns what while your employed and afterwards? Should these issues be included and set in stone in a contract? We’ve seen many people include their employer in their Twitter handle and knock it off once they leave, with continued ownership of it. Nonetheless, this case is forcing many to rethink how social media should be legally handled in the workplace before signing on the dotted line.