Lawsuit could quantify the value of a social media follower

12/26/2011 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

A lawsuit by mobile-phone site against a former employee who kept tweeting from the same Twitter account after leaving the company is expected to set precedents about who owns a Twitter account and what their followers are worth. The firm seeks damages of $2.50 per follower, claiming the Twitter followers should be considered a customer list. Experts say the case may hinge on why the former employee created the account. "An added complexity is that PhoneDog contends Mr. Kravitz was just a contractor in the related partnership/employment case, thus weakening their trade secrets case, unless they can show he was contracted to create the feed," lawyer Henry Cittone says.

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