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December 31, 2011

Site sues its writer for Twitter followers

Twitter user and writer, Noah Kravitz has found himself in a bit of a sticky situation. He's been sued for his Twitter followers. According to the New York Times, the lawsuit was filed in July. Kravitz was a writer at a mobile phone site, The site had an e-commerce section to it as well as a blog. Kravitz created a Twitter account for himself @Phonedog_Noah and had gained over 17,000 followers over time. When he left Phonedog, the company requested him to tweet from time to time from the @Phonedog_Noah account, allowing him to keep the name and parting on amicable terms.
Noah Kravitz being sued for his Twitter followers
Noah Kravitz being sued for his Twitter followers

He later also created a new Twitter account @NoahKravitz and starting tweeting through that account. However, 8 months after Noah left his job, Phonedog sued him, saying his list on the Phonedog_Noah account was a client list. They demanded damages of $2.50 a month per follower for eight months, for a total of $340,000. Kravitz said that when the Phonedog requested him to continue tweeting on their behalf, they had agreed to give him 15 percent of the site's advertising revenue as he had a vested interest as a partner and when they didn't pay him and he retaliated, they came down on him with a lawsuit.

This lawsuit brings up the question of monetization of social networking, particularly to companies. Phonedog has assigned a value to each Twitter follower they're suing Kravitz for. Meanwhile, Kravitz is confused about the lawsuit. He said, "They’re suing me for over a quarter of a million dollars. From where I’m sitting I held up my end of the bargain."


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