Court: Facebook 'Like' is free speech

2013-09-18 22:29
Facebook. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Facebook. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - In a potentially far-reaching ruling on the rights of internet communications, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that clicking on the Facebook Like button is protected free speech under the US constitution.

The ruling came in a case in which a sheriff's deputy claimed that he was fired for liking the campaign page of his boss' opponent.

A lower court ruled against deputy Daniel Ray Carter Jr in January 2012, saying that "liking" didn't rise to the level of protected speech.

But in its ruling on Wednesday the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed.

"[Liking] is the internet equivalent of displaying a political sign in one's front yard, which the Supreme Court has held is substantive speech," the three-judge panel wrote in an 81-page opinion.

Facebook had filed a friend of the court brief in the case, noting that its users register more than 3 billion likes and other comments every day.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    facebook  |  us  |  social networks
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

6 reasons Boks won’t botch it
Fiji far too strong for Uruguay
Burger hopes for elusive World Cup win
As it happened: Fiji 47-15 Uruguay

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.