Social Media Passwords: Property of the Estate?

From ABI Newsroom:  Bankruptcy Gun Shop Ordered to Turn over Social Media Passwords

Debtor (a gun shop owner) had used social media to promote his gun store, but after he lost ownership of his store in bankruptcy, a judge declared the business’s Facebook and Twitter accounts property that belonged to the new owner and ordered the Debtor to turn over the passwords.   Debtor argued the accounts were personal, and refused.  He was held in contempt, and spent seven weeks in federal custody until he complied with the order.

The judge’s ruling charts new legal territory in awarding property in bankruptcy proceedings and points to the growing importance of social media accounts as business assets.   Legal experts say it also provides a lesson for all business owners active in social media about keeping separate accounts.

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