Adorian Deck did what millions of other teenagers have done when they’re home sick from school – he started a Twitter account. However, his “OMGFacts” quickly turned into a Twitter sensation and attracted over 300,000 followers. His tweets were focused on bits of quirky trivia and celebrity gossip.
Deck, now 17, found a business partner last year in Emerson Spartz, 24. According to Deck, Spartz said that he would take Deck’s OMG Facts to the next level, but instead deceived the teenager so that he turned over all the rights to his creation. Deck says it was slow process, but he started losing more and more control.
If Spartz’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he caught the public’s eye when he started Mugglenet.com, which is a Harry Potter fan site. He started the popular site when he was only 12 years old. He also started Spartz Inc, which currently overseas many sites directed at younger audiences.
The true issue of the lawsuit isn’t so much who has the claim to over 5,500 tweets, but who really owns the rights to the OMG Facts brand, which could be quite lucrative. Spartz says that he partnered with Deck in February of last year and built an OMG website, a YouTube channel, and that he’s responsible for most of the tweets for the account. While Deck disputes that he quit tweeting, there is no dispute in the site’s popularity.
Today, there are over 1.9 million followers, ranking it as the 126th most followed Twitter account, according to twittercounter.com. It ranks above Peter Facinelli, one of the actors in Twilight and below Wyclef Jean, the would-be Haitian presidential candidate. Top tweeters can earn quite a bit of cash, such as Kim Kardashian, who gets as much as $10,000 a tweet for product endorsement. However, regulators are starting to track what’s going on in because the FTC now requires bloggers, including tweeters, to disclose whenever they are paid to endorse a product. The law does get a bit murkier when dealing with a tweet collection or the brand identity of a Twitter account, as in the OMG Facts lawsuit.