Quantcast

Facebook ‘Like’ button is free speech right – US court



A file photo shows the Facebook “like” icon displayed outside of Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. AP

WASHINGTON – Hitting the “Like” button on Facebook is an element of free speech protected by the US constitution, a federal court ruled Wednesday, in a case closely watched by employment lawyers.

The US Court of Appeals based in Richmond, Virginia, made the judgment in the case of a Virginia sheriff’s department worker who claimed he was fired for exercising his free speech rights – in this case “liking” a political opponent of his boss.

“His conduct qualifies as speech,” the court said in an 81-page decision that sent the case back to a lower court for review of those issues.

“In sum, 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.”

“In this way, 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 American Civil Liberties Union and Facebook both filed legal briefs supporting the view that the “Like” button is protected speech.

The ACLU brief said “liking” something on Facebook “expresses a clear message – one recognized by millions of Facebook users and non-Facebook users – and is both pure speech and symbolic expression that warrants constitutional protection.”








Recent Stories:

Deles now attributes Bangsamoro peace accord to DAP 8 mins elapsed Social worker released by Abu Sayyaf kidnappers 19 mins elapsed ISAFP chief appointed as Army commander in Compostela Valley 23 mins elapsed Lucio Co buying 38% of PBCom for P5.97 billion 29 mins elapsed Landslide kills 2 in Rizal 32 mins elapsed 7 more Lanao mayors join plunder suit vs electric coop, NEA execs 36 mins elapsed ‘Glenda’ death toll reaches 98 40 mins elapsed Bomb scare hits Navotas school 44 mins elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

  • basilionisisa

    our Laws should follow suit, and should consider not only FB’s Like button but also the Up and Down Arrows in PDI and other news websites.

  • @centaurchief

    super thumbs UP!

  • instantlywithyou

    More and more Likes for this Facebook Like feature

  • Jerry

    Double Like

  • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

    +1 Like



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement Advertisement
Advertisement
Marketplace