Sports Journalist Sued For Not Turning Over Twitter Account
- Virginia Tech football beat writer @AndyBitterVT has been sued for not turning over his Twitter account to his former employer.
- Bitter was given a Twitter account by The Roanoke Times, made it his own, and refused to transfer it back to the publication when he left to work for The Athletic.
- The dispute centers on an important question: How do you determine the rightful owner of a social media account used for business purposes?
- Here’s the Complaint: BH Media Group, Inc. v. Andy Bitter.
The Roanoke Times, through its owner and operator BH Media Group, has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District for the Western District of Virginia against Andy Bitter for Misappropriation under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, Misappropriation under the Virginia Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Violation of the Stored Communications Act, Violation of the Virginia Computer Crimes Act, Common Law Conversion and Breach of Fiduciary Duty. That’s a lot of counts for 1 complaint!
The lawsuit names Andy Bitter as the Defendant. He was hired as a staff writer to focus on Virginia Tech athletics back in October 2011. He was given access and login info to a Twitter account and retained sole access to the account to this day.
Since October 2011, Bitter built up the account to have more than 27,000 followers. Then, in June 2018, Bitter resigned to work for the Athletic Media Group.
BH Media Group told Bitter to hand over the Twitter account and Bitter refused to cooperate.