Free Speech

"Like" Is Free Speech, Court Told

ACLU and Facebook challenge judge's ruling that "liking" something online is not an act of free expression


Last night, the ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in an appeal of a federal judge's ruling in May that "liking" something on Facebook is not speech protected by the First Amendment. In the case, now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, employees of a Virginia sheriff who was running for reelection were fired for "liking" the sheriff's opponent's webpage on Facebook and taking other actions to indicate their support for the opponent. Those employees brought a First Amendment lawsuit against the sheriff, B.H. Roberts, who fired them after he won the election.

Facebook also filed its own friend-of-the-court brief yesterday.