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How Bankruptcy Can Affect Social Media

Image via Twitter: @ECentauri

HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston-area man had used social media to promote his gun store, posting politically charged messages that criticized the president and promoted Second Amendment rights.

But after Jeremy Alcede 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 Alcede to turn over the passwords.

Image via Twitter: @ECentauri

Alcede, who argued the accounts were personal, refused and spent nearly seven weeks in federal custody until he complied with the order in May.

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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