The “like” button on Facebook seems like a relatively clear way to express your support for something, but a federal judge says that doesn’t mean clicking it is constitutionally protected speech, the Associated Press reports. Exactly what a “like” means—if anything—played a part in a case in Virginia involving six people who say Hampton Sheriff B.J. Roberts fired them for supporting an opponent in his 2009 re-election bid, which he won. The workers sued, saying their First Amendment rights were violated. Roberts said some of the workers were let go because he wanted to replace them with sworn deputies while others were fired because of poor performance or his belief that their actions “hindered the harmony and efficiency of the office.”…Read More
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Friday repealing a contentious law that had limited online chats between teachers and students and caused a judge to warn that it infringed on free-speech rights.
Nixon’s action eliminates a law enacted earlier this year that barred teachers from using websites that allow “exclusive access” with students or former pupils age 18 or younger. The law generated an unexpected backlash, with teachers raising concerns they would be barred from using popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter that allow private messages.
A judge temporarily blocked the law shortly before it was to take effect in August, declaring that it “would have a chilling effect” on free-speech rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. Nixon then added the law’s repeal to the agenda for the special session that began in September.…Read More