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April 29, 2012, 12:30 a.m.
Audience & Social
LINK: arstechnica.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   April 29, 2012

Ars Technica’s Venkat Balasubramani and Eric Goldman note the case of Bland v. Roberts, where three sheriff’s department workers argue they were fired because they had “liked” the Facebook page of their boss’ electoral opponent. The court says a Facebook like does not qualify as protected First Amendment speech:

It is the court’s conclusion that merely “liking” a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection. In cases where courts have found that constitutional speech protections extended to Facebook posts, actual statements existed within the record.

First Amendment jurisprudence, of course, has held that many non-verbal, non-written acts qualify for protected status (memorably flag burning).

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