A man former employee of Phonedog is being sued for keeping Twitter followers that he attracted while working for the mobile news site. Formerly tweeting as @Phonedog_Noah, Noah Kravitz later changed his username when he left the company having amassed more than 17,000 followers.
The company is now valuing every follower at around $2.50, demanding a total of $370,000.
Noah argues that Phonedog gave him permission to continue using the account after he left.
In an interview he gave to the New York Times, Noah says that Phonedog had allowed him to keep the account as long as he agreed to “tweet on their behalf from time to time”.
Since the time he left, Noah’s followers have moved from the 17,000 to 22,000. Noah worked at Phonedog as a blogger.
However, eight months later the company filed a lawsuit claiming that the account’s followers were a customer list, and that it had invested “substantial” resources into building it.
In a statement provided to the New York Times, PhoneDog asserted that Kravitz did not invest in creating the Twitter following.
“The costs and resources invested by PhoneDog Media into growing its followers, fans and general brand awareness through social media are substantial and are considered property of PhoneDog Media L.L.C.,” PhoneDog said. “We intend to aggressively protect our customer lists and confidential information, intellectual property, trademark and brands.”