Be careful what you ‘like’ because a simple Facebook like can actually get you fired.
As Americans, we live by the first amendment, we’re free to state our opinions on most any topic. In recent years, people have become more comfortable sharing their opinions on politics, unpopular bosses, or just about anything else they can think of on their social media profiles. However, if you ‘like’ something controversial, be prepared for the consequences. One judge in Virginia ruled that a Facebook like isn’t protected under the constitution and could be grounds for losing your job if the wrong person notices it.
According to Chris Taylor’s article, “Facebook Like Can Get You Fired, Says Judge”, a judge in Virginia ruled that ‘liking’ something isn’t worthy of being protected by the first amendment. “The Like button isn’t the same as expressing yourself verbally. It’s not free speech, in other words. It’s just clicking a button.” Although the ruling is expected to be appealed, you may want to reserve your likes’ for your co-worker’s new puppy rather than their opinions of the new boss.
Read an excerpt from the article.
“Simply liking a Facebook page is insufficient,” the judge wrote. “It is not the kind of substantive statement that has previously warranted constitutional protection … For the Court to assume that the Plaintiffs made some specific statement without evidence of such statements is improper.”
That had some legal analysts raising their eyebrows. “It is conveying a message to others,” UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh told the Times. “It may just involve just a mouse click, but a major point of that mouse click is to inform others that you like whatever that means.”