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Staff Twitter accounts: Who ‘owns’ the followers?

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in HR Management,Human Resources

If your employees post on their work-related Twitter accounts, a pending lawsuit in a federal California court could answer an important question: Who owns that Twitter “handle” and those followers when the employee leaves?

The case: Noah Kravitz wrote tweets under the Twitter name@PhoneDog_Noah. When Kravitz left and kept tweeting under that name, the company claimed it owned the Twitter account and Kravitz’s 17,000 followers. The company claims the followers are worth $2.50 per month and, thus, Kravitz owes the company $340,000 for the eight months he used the account after leaving.

Best bet: Get an agreement in writing with your corporate tweeters, clarifying what will happen to their Twitter accounts and followers after they depart.

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