Monday, December 26, 2011

Using Twitter on Behalf of Your Employer? You Better Watch Out!

The New York Times tells us about Noah Kravitz formerly of

The question is: Can a company cash in on, and claim ownership of, an employee’s social media account, and if so, what does that mean for workers who are increasingly posting to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus during work hours?

A lawsuit filed in July could provide some answers.

In October 2010, Noah Kravitz, a writer who lives in Oakland, Calif., quit his job at a popular mobile phone site,, after nearly four years. The site has two parts — an e-commerce wing, which sells phones, and a blog.

While at the company, Mr. Kravitz, 38, began writing on Twitter under the name Phonedog_Noah, and over time, had amassed 17,000 followers. When he left, he said, PhoneDog told him he could keep his Twitter account in exchange for posting occasionally.

The company asked him to “tweet on their behalf from time to time and I said sure, as we were parting on good terms,” Mr. Kravitz said by telephone.

Seems innocent and friendly enough (although I don’t get the request and the acceptance of the request to continue to post occasionally for the company, do you? The gist is that the employee had amassed a significant following using his name and his employer’s name but it seems as if the lines had been blurred as well since Mr. Kravitz felt that his following was indeed his and initially, at least, his former employer was fine with that. Then …

Using Twitter on Behalf of Your Employer? You Better Watch Out!

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