The debate that ensued when PhoneDog filed a lawsuit against it’s former employee Noah Kravitz is a very important one. This case debates about who owns a social media account, the company that the person represents or that person himself. The latest update on this case is that the court has refused to throw the case out of the windows and so the case continues. Given below are the respective arguments of both sides.
The main problem for Noah Kravitz in this whole episode is that he used the PhoneDog as his Twitter handle, although he switched it to his name when he left the company. This arises the vital question: who’s followers are the people who are following the Twitter account? PhoneDog’s or Noah’s?
PhoneDog is now levelling the charges against Noah that his act of keeping Twitter account has significantly damaged the company financially. The exact argument that was put forth by PhoneDog is,
“Due to Kravitz’s alleged conduct, “there is decreased traffic to [the] website through the Account, which in turn decreases the number of website pageviews and discourages advertisers from paying for ad inventory on PhoneDog’s website.”
Of course Noah rejected these charges right away and asked the court to dump them. However, the court has refuse. Referring to this, the court ruling states,
“Kravitz has now moved to dismiss PhoneDog’s second and third claims once again, arguing that they still fail to allege sufficient facts to state claims upon which relief can be granted. Dkt. No. 30. As explained below, the Court disagrees with Kravitz’s position and DENIES his motion.””
So far, the case continues and Noah still runs the possibility of being snubbed and held financially accountable to PhoneDog. But ethically, social media gurus may argue against it since a Twitter account, if it’s not the official Twitter account of a company, is the property of the person who runs it in individual capacity. So far, it hasn’t been proved that Noah’s account was touted as official by the company.
Image courtesy crazyoctopus.