Whether an employer claims ownership of a social media account or not, they cannot ‘own’ the relationship between users and that account. And there will be as many relationships as users. Some passive; some collaborative; some neglected; some exploitative.
Before the Age of Social Media, a journalist’s belongings consisted of a pen, paper, and maybe her roladex. Today, the accounts from which they tweet and post are becoming valuable assets, too.
In the Online Journalism Blog
the occurrence of Laura Kusenssberg and her withdrawal from BBC for ITV is referenced to exemplify why this matters in a real world application. The underlying question here is ‘do journalists have ownership of the brand they create or is the organization they are associated with have rights to the users?’ (via futurejournalismproject