Your Facebook 'Like' Is Now Protected by the U.S. Constitution
Clicking "Like" on a Facebook post or page is now a form of speech protected by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, according to an opinion issued on Wednesday by a federal appeals court, which overturned a previous ruling to the contrary.
The decision (.PDF) to consider a Facebook "Like" as protected speech may set a precedent of how courts apply freedom of speech rules to users' online activities.
For the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va,, Liking a candidate on Facebook should have the same protections as real-life actions that show political support.
"Liking a political candidate’s campaign page communicates the user’s approval of the candidate and supports the campaign by associating the user with it," wrote Judge William Traxler, who authored the opinion. "It is the Internet equivalent of displaying a political sign in one’s front yard, which the Supreme Court has held is substantive speech."
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