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Experts un-like ruling in Facebook free speech case

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 03:28 p.m. HST, May 04, 2012


NORFOLK, Va. >>  The "like" button on Facebook seems like a relatively clear way to express your support for something, but a federal judge says that doesn't mean clicking it is constitutionally protected speech.

Exactly what a "like" means — if anything — played a part in a case in Virginia involving six people who say Hampton Sheriff B.J. Roberts fired them for supporting an opponent in his 2009 re-election bid, which he won. The workers sued, saying their First Amendment rights were violated.

One of those workers, Daniel Ray Carter, had "liked" the Facebook page of Roberts' opponent, Jim Adams.

While public employees are allowed to speak as citizens on matters of public concern, U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson ruled that clicking the "like" button does not amount to expressive speech.

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manakuke wrote:
Realities of social; media; it's just entertainment.
on May 4,2012 | 05:25AM
Manapua_Man wrote:
I don't like the way Facebook puts the real name down as someone who "likes" an article. There are instances when a person gets mistaken for someone else with the exact same name. People just quickly take a glance, see the name, and assume it was you who "like" the article. Never know that one might have been passed over for a job interview because of this.
on May 4,2012 | 06:14AM
CriticalReader wrote:
Maybe it would help if Facebook also created a "Disclaimer" buttton, with sub-buttons providing a range of explanations that might accurately reflect any variations or differences from a complete and unconditional "Like" (if social media is going to take over society and our lives it has the obligation to accurately reflect the entire range of human thought and condition - QUIT BEING SO LAZY FACEBOOK!!! Crack the whip on your programmers!). Another option would be to be able to click on "Like" but choose to have it unpublished, so only the clicker would be privy to the fact that they had clicked "Like". The added benefit of such an option would be to serve the purpose of providing the clicker the illusion that what they think actually matters and is being imposed on others while shielding them from the emerging possibility (or "trend") of negative retribution.
on May 4,2012 | 07:04AM
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