Constance Yu and Ellen Liu write “Are Social Media Followers and Connections a Trade Secret?” for the San Francisco Daily Journal

August 2013

How much is a “follower” or “connection” really worth? With the increasing popularity and utility of social media websites like Twitter and Linkedln, where members connect to friends, coworkers, clients and potential clients in one account, it is not surprising that in the past few years, employers and employees have filed lawsuits alleging misappropriation of social media accounts under trade secret law. However, because a factfinder has yet to determine that a social media account contains protectable trade secrets – much less how to value such an asset – potential plaintiffs should considerlegal and practical ramifications before incurring the costs of litigating trade secret actions.

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