A “Like” on Facebook is speech protected by the First Amendment – appeals court

New Media & the law


Is liking something on Facebook a form of protected expression akin to putting a bumper sticker on your car? The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said, yes, it is. The ruling comes in response to a sheriff who sacked a deputy for liking the Facebook page of his political rival. A lower court last year agreed with the sheriff that the speech was “insignificant” and didn’t qualify for First Amendment protection. Facebook(s fb) and the ACLU disagreed and weighed in on behalf of the deputy. (More background on the case and symbolic speech here.)



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