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Facebook 'Like' is protected speech

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 19 Sep 2013 18:55 User comments (2)

Facebook 'Like' is protected speech A U.S. court has ruled that using Facebook's 'Like' feature to show support for a political candidate amounts to legally protected speech.
The decision was made by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a case involving the firing of a former deputy sheriff in Hampton, Virginia. He claimed that he had lost his job because during an election campaign, he liked the Facebook page of a candidate running for the position of city Sheriff, against his boss.

In total, six former employees of Hampton Sheriff B.J. Roberts claim they were illegally fired for having supported his opponent, Jim Adams, in the election which took place in 2009.

"Liking a political candidate's campaign page communicates the user's approval of the candidate and supports the campaign by associating the user with it," Chief Judge William Traxler wrote for a three-judge panel.

"It is the Internet equivalent of displaying a political sign in one's front yard, which the Supreme Court has held is substantive speech."

The decision partly reverses a ruling that liking a Facebook page was "insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection," made by U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson in Newport News, Virginia last year.

Tags: Facebook
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2 user comments

120.9.2013 12:09

I want a dislike feature added so I can really show how I feel.

220.9.2013 12:11

Did the fired guys win or loose? Were they rehired or not?

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