You could be fired for 'liking' a Facebook page

We read:
"Six workers in the US were fired for 'liking' the Facebook page of their boss's political opponent after a federal judge ruled that clicking the 'like' button is not constitutionally protected speech.

But does the act of merely clicking a button on a website constitute fully fledged support of the opposition?

"Whether or not it's justifiable to terminate them solely for liking the opponent candidate on Facebook, I think is a very long, almost quantum leap," says Young.

In the case in the US, Sheriff B.J. Roberts of Hampton, Virginia, fired six of his staff members for liking the Facebook page of his running opponent in the 2009 election. He said that their actions had "hindered the harmony and efficiency of the office".

The staff members sued, claiming that their First Amendment rights had been violated.

However, Judge Raymond A. Jackson of the Federal District Court said in his ruling that clicking the "like" button did not amount to expressive speech.

Essentially, because there was no actual writing or speech involved, the act of clicking a button is not afforded constitutional protection under the ruling.

A lawyer for one of the workers said he would appeal Judge Jackson's ruling.


If pole dancing and flag burning are protected as speech, It is difficult to see why "Like" clicking is not protected also. Besides, "like" may just express interest or amusement. It is not necessarily a wholehearted endorsement of someone.

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