Judge Says Clicking ‘Like’ On Facebook Is Not Protected Speech

Posted on May 7 2012 - 7:23am by Editorial Staff

The Facebook “like” button is relatively an amazing way to express your support for something but what in the latest feud – a Federal Judge says that the social giant “likes” are not protected speech. Surprised, well this is something that happened reported by New York Times. The issue came in light was the firing by Hampton, Va., Sheriff B.J. Roberts of six employees. They sued, claiming that they had not been fired for any incompetence, but rather for believing that his opponent, Jim Adams, was more competent. One of the six had gone so far as to “liking” Adams on Facebook.

“Going to a candidate’s Facebook page and liking it, in my view, is a political statement,” Mr. Messner said. “It’s not a very deep one, but you’re making a statement.” James H. Shoemaker, a lawyer for one of the dismissed workers, said he was surprised by Judge Jackson’s April 24 ruling and would appeal it.

“It is conveying a message to others,” Mr. Volokh said. “It may just involve just a couple of mouse clicks, or maybe just one mouse click, but the point of that mouse click, a major point of that mouse click, is to inform others that you like whatever that means.” Judge Jackson acknowledged that if “liking” something was not constitutionally protected speech.

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