Just So You Know: The First Amendment Protects Your Right To Like

Last week a US appellate court sided with a group of public sector employees who claimed they were fired because they "liked" the Facebook page of their boss' election opponent.

What's the Latest Development?


Last week, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Facebook likes were protected under the First Amendment by siding with a group of workers who claimed they were fired for liking the Facebook page of their boss' election opponent. The firing, which involved Daniel R. Carter and five other employees, took place after B.J. Roberts won the Hampton, VA sheriff's race in 2009. All six filed suit against the department, but Carter was the only plaintiff who attempted to bring social media into the mix.

What's the Big Idea?

While Facebook posts have First Amendment protection as ruled by previous courts, the suit was dismissed in district court in 2012 because the judge deemed Facebook likes "insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection" and, as such, they couldn't be considered "actual statements." The unanimous reversal by the appellate court says there's no distinction between the two: "On the most basic level, clicking on the 'Like' button literally causes to be published the statement that the user 'likes' something, which is itself a substantive statement."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Wall Street Journal

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less