For about four years, technology blogger Noah Kravitz worked for PhoneDog, a mobile phone website. During that time, he also tweeted under the handle @PhoneDog_Noah. A little over a year ago, Kravitz left PhoneDog and changed his handle to @noahkravitz. At the time he had 17,000 followers. Now PhoneDog is suing , claiming that Kravitz absconded with its Twitter followers despite the account belonging to Kravitz.
PhoneDog said in a statement that it expended vast resources to build 17,000 followers for Kravitz, and losing access to them had seriously impacted business. It is the position of PhoneDog Media that Twitter followers are a “subscriber list.” In the way of damages, PhoneDog seeks $2.50 per follower, or about $340,000. It is unclear how the company came to that valuation.
Kravitz has responded saying that he left PhoneDog on good terms, and was told the Twitter account was his. Since leaving PhoneDog, Kravitz has gained an additional 5,000 followers. Perhaps all social media users that have a personal account for work should heed Kravit’s advice of the day: “Social Media Users: Be very careful when using your company's name in your online handles. Never know how/when your employers might react.”