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Facebook and the First Amendment: Should freedom of speech protect 'Likes'?

May 2, 2012

By John Vettese, Student Voices staff writer

When people use Facebook, hitting the “Like” button practically becomes a reflex.

Your friend might post a hi-def Vimeo trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, and you’re so excited you “Like” it. Or maybe you laughed hysterically to your brother’s Someecards link, so you “Like” it. Liking things is a fast-paced way to communicate with your friends, share your interests or give others an idea of your tastes. But can it get you in trouble?

What if your lacrosse coach noticed that you “liked” the page for a rival team? You just did it in a show of good sportsmanship, but now you’re benched for the season. Or maybe your boss at a sandwich shop saw that you “liked” a rival to keep tabs on its specials, and decided to let you go. Can they do that?

According to a federal judge in Virginia, yes, they can.

U.S. District Court Judge Raymond Jackson ruled last month in the case Bland v. Roberts, which involved five former employees of the Hampton, Va., Sheriff’s Office who lost their jobs in a similar fashion. Sheriff B.J. Roberts was running for reelection in 2009, but he did not have universal support – not even among his employees. Five of his staffers went on Facebook and “liked” the campaign of Sheriff Roberts’ opponent. When Roberts was reelected, he decided not to retain those employees, citing budgetary reasons and disruption of the “harmony” of the office.

In his ruling, Judge Jackson wrote: “It is the court’s conclusion that merely ‘liking’ a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection. In cases where courts have found that constitutional speech protections extended to Facebook posts, actual statements existed within the record.”

Opponents disagree, noting that the First Amendment is written in broad terms that, over the years, the Supreme Court has interpreted to include symbolic speech. Think of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, one of the most famous First Amendment cases of the last century – those students protesting the Vietnam War did not make spoken statements, they wore armbands in silent protest.

In an op-ed column, Atlantic Monthly writer Megan Garber wrote: “Freedom of speech isn't about the speech that should be protected; it's about the fact that speech should be protected. Full stop. Nor is it about ‘speech,’ per se: It's also about demonstration and protest and assembly and worship and other activities that, silently but powerfully, bring a public face to a private emotion.”

What do you think?

Should a Facebook “Like” be protected speech under the First Amendment? Is Judge Raymond Jackson right that it is too insignificant to merit protection? Or do you think it falls in the realm of symbolic speech? Join the discussion!
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Comments
11/14/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Emilio
Mr.Hannah/Stroudsburg JHS
I don't see any reason why your boss or any boss should fire you just because you like something they hate or a "rival". Can the workplace get more stupid? I mean let's say I am working at, oh I don't know, Fred's Burgers, and I like something from Burger World that says "Support us on the Bake off!", just to wish good luck. Should I get fired? Should I get in trouble? That's my point!

5/7/2014
Hingham, MT, USA
The Cooper Spicher
The Mrs. Campbell/The North Star High School
I think that this should be protected by the 1st Amendment. People are allowed to voice their opinion and while it is insignificant and small, it should be protected so you can't get in trouble for something silly like that.

2/26/2014
Mosinee WI
Kimrying to show good spartsmanship.
Mrs.Kaiser/MosineeHighSchool
Liking something on Facebook shouldn't be used against you. I thought it was ridiculous that the coach benched the player all season; maybe he "WAS" trying to show good sportsmanship.

3/19/2013
Denver Co
Brenda
Ms.Mumby /John F. Kennedy High School
When you like something in Facebook I think that you shouldn't get in trouble for it because its something that you think and it shouldn't be protected by a first amendment.another thing I think is that its personal right if you want to ignore you for what you do.

3/19/2013
Denver CO
Gladys
Mrs.Mumby/John F Kennedy High School
A Facebook "Like" should not go to the point of being protected by the first amendment. It is just a Facebook "Like" it does not mean you encourage a rival or that maybe you actually like something. In conclusion there shouldn't be much importance and protect other things rather that this with the First Amendment.

3/19/2013
Denver, CO
Nayeli Marquez
M. Mumby John F. Kennedy High School
I believe people have the right to be able to 'like' whatever they please on THEIR social network. But Also, it should not have a big deal on having it be procteted by the first ammendement.

1/9/2013
Montgomery/Texas
Kaylee Smith
Mr. Metzger/Montgomery High School
I don't think a Facebook "Like" she go as far to be protected by the First Amendment. Yes, it is a shame that people are going to be that immature about a employee or team player liking a "rival". Though it is that persons right if they want to ignore you for doing so. If you "Like" something that is your business, and if they disown you that's their business. Again, I don't think a Facebook "Like" is quite that important to be protected by our First Amendment.

1/9/2013
Montgomery/Texas
Kaylee Smith
Mr. Metzger/Montgomery High School
I don't think a Facebook "Like" she go as far to be protected by the First Amendment. Yes, it is a shame that people are going to be that immature about a employee or team player liking a "rival". Though it is that persons right if they want to ignore you for doing so. If you "Like" something that is your business, and if they disown you that's their business. Again, I don't think a Facebook "Like" is quite that important to be protected by our First Amendment.

12/10/2012
CA
Yovana
MHS
A Facebook "Like" should not even need to be protected under the first amendment; however if businesses are going to take it to the extremes of having someone fired just because an employee liked a rival`s page then maybe it should. However, it seems quite ridiculous to go to such extremes. Besides a person's "Like" activity on facebook is personal it should not be mixed with anything else like a job. It is not a symbolic speech. It is simply a statement.

12/9/2012
California
Melissa
Monache
Yes it should. It's the only way American people can say something without offending anyone or making themselves a target. To arrest or penalize someone over a "Like" would be idiotic.

11/30/2012
Porterville, CA
Weston
Smith/MHS
If armbands are a form of speech, then liking something definitely is. I really don't see the debate here. Liking isn't even symbolic speech: it's a definitive statement such as "Bill likes Pizza".

11/19/2012
Belleville, New York
Kristia
Miss Colby/BHCS
Liking something on Facebook is a way of showing that you are interested in that topic or you thought that it was funny and etc. My opinion is that "likes" on Facebook should be considered freedom of speech and they should be protected.

11/16/2012
Belleville/NY
Ashley
Colby/BHCS
"likes" on facebook should be protected by the First Amendment. If you are liking something then it is showing that you are intererested in that topic.

10/30/2012
Montana
Ethan
Mr. Faulhaber
I think that the "Like" button on facebook should be protected because it is part of free speech. It should not be involved in the workplace and/or sports.

10/24/2012
Watertown/MA
Victoria
Rimas/Watertown
Speech is speech. Liking something on facebook is a simple way of stating that you like something, therefore it's speech. So yes it should.

10/24/2012
Watertown/Massachusetts
Arielle
Mr.Rimas/Watertown High School
I think that everyone has the right to express their thoughts and opinions and facebook "likes" are a part of that.

10/24/2012
Watertown/Ma
Nina
Mr. Rimas/Watertown Highschool
I feel like it protects the freedom of speech, you shouldnt be benched if you like another team.

10/24/2012
Watertown/Massachusetts
Fariha
Mr. Rimas/ Watertown High School
In my opinion, yes it protects freedom of speech. According to the First Amendment, we have freedom of speech so, if u say that u like something then nobody should have any objection

10/24/2012
Watertown/MA
Elayna
Mr. Rimas/Watertown High School
I find it ridiculous that freedom of speech apparently only protects IMPORTANT speech. It shouldn't matter how "significant" the speech is, what matters is that someone should be allowed to express how they feel about something without being fired over it. In fact, its insignificance just means that there's very little to actually be offended over. If your employee walked around protesting everything you stand for and spreading negative ads against you, that's one thing. Just 'liking' a page for your opponent is nothing to be firing someone for.

9/28/2012
Belleville/NY
Kylee
Colby/Belleville Henderson
I can see both sides of the argument. I mean, facebook is PUBLIC. So if ur boss or your college's board wants to see what type of person you are as you show to the world of social media, then that's your own fault. The problem is our generation has turned facebook not into a mere tool of social media. To young people nowadays facebook is an addiction. If some dumb teenager isn't smart enough to keep what could get them in trouble inside their own heads, then that's their own fault. however, "likes" should not be able to change someone's opinion of you....but that's society.

9/28/2012
Belleville, NY
John M.
Miss Colby- Belleville-Henderson CS
Facebook "likes" should be protected under the first amendment, as they should be view not as someone just clicking a button, but as an expression of an opinion and belief. The purpose of the first amendment obiously doesn't just protect literal speech, it protects our freedom as individuals and as groups to voice our opinions within reason. "Likes" are an expression of beliefs and personal preferences and opinions, even if they aren't actually phrases or words.

9/28/2012
Belleville/ New York
Kristia
Miss Colby/Belleville Henderson
I feel that "liking" something on Facebook should be protected by the First amendment. "Liking" something is showing what you are interested in and shouldn't be used against you.

9/28/2012
Belleville/NY
Elina
Miss Colby/ Belleville Henderson Central School
I think that everybody has the right to express their thoughts and opinions. And "likes" on facebook is one of the way to do it. we live in a society where the freedom of speech exists. Everybody has a right to choose what they like.

9/24/2012
Normal/IL
Mackenzie
Hess/NCWHS
In my opinion, "likes" on facebook should be protected under the first amendment. Liking something on facebook is just expressing that you have an interest in the subject, and it's your choice to show that. We have the freedom to voice ourselves and I believe liking something on facebook is doing so.

9/24/2012
normal illinois
molli
hess
if you like something on facebook it is your opinion of what your liking. so since everyone is entitled to there opinion it should be protected under freedom of speech. yu liking something isnt going to change the way anyone else views it so it isnt something so serious that anyone should get fired or benched for.

9/24/2012
Normal, IL
Maddie
Hess/NCWHS
i think that "Liking" something on facebook should be protected under freedom of speech. It is a way that people express their point of view, it is just symbolic speech. i disagree with Raymond Jackson, i believe this should be protected.

9/24/2012
Normal,IL
Chyanne
Hess/NCWHS
I think that on facebook, liking a status should be protected under the first amendment, freedom of speech. Because, it doesnt matter what you like on facebook thats your opinion and if any one has a problem with it they could just deal with it couse its not thier problem. If you like your oponents status then fricking like it. who cares? It's not like you want to go work for them it just means you like what ever they said. woop de doodaly do! What you like on facebook isnt really all that important anyway it just shows you like something. Doesnt matter! Your argument is invalid!

9/24/2012
IL
Benjamin N.
Hess/Normal West
I think that if you like a post on facebook, you are simply expressing your own feelings towards a picture, or update. I understand the problem with sports. Becuase i like a lot of my friend successes from community, or bloomington. So in my mind any speech, oral or cyber. should be protected under the first amendment.

9/24/2012
Normal/ Illinois
Cole
Hess/Normal Community West High School
I fall in between both, I can agree how the judge would say that its too insufficient to protect. But, then again it also causes problem for instance, people losing their jobs. I believe that it should be protected in some way but not a big way if that makes since. It will cause many problems to stir up and many angry people. Bosses shouldn't be able to fire other people just because they liked their rivals food better. Everyone's entitled to their own opinions and believes without justification being frowned upon and if they cant express that freely than inst that violating the First Amendment?

9/24/2012
Normal, Il
Brandon
Hess/NCWHS
I feel that the employees should have won the case. By 'liking' something, it doesn't mean anything. Like the example in the article. Maybe the employees were just seeing what tactics the other canidate was using to gain votes. The election wasn't won on Facebook 'likes'.

9/24/2012
Normal! IL
Indy
Hess/NCWHS
I think that "Liking" something on FaceBook should be protected by the frist amendent because you are just giving your opinion on something. unless you liked a page that happened to be one of the exceptions to it. Then that might be frowned upon.

9/24/2012
Normal Il
Nick
Hess/Normal West
I think that facebook liking should be protected under the first amendent becasue it is your choice and your should have the right to voice it.

9/24/2012
Normal,IL
Zac O.
Hess/NCWHS
I think that "Liking" should be protected under freedom of speech. It is a form of expression no matter what anyone says. This definately also falls under symbolic speech, so I disagree with Raymond Jackson. This is a right, and it should be protected, no matter how small it may be.

9/24/2012
iL
tiffani
niormal community west
i think that the judges choice was right and wrong because if they "liked" the opposing person on facebook then why dont you go work for them, but on the other hand it is just facebook not like something big that someone should be fired about.

9/24/2012
Normal, Illinois
Amy N.
Hess/NCWHS
I feel that the facebook likes should be protected under freedom of speech because in the Lacrosse example, you could have friends on that team that you still support so they shouldn't hold that against you because you liked something on facebook. I feel that is not okay. Also firing people from their job is kind of a different story but by liking the other campeigns facebook page they didnt do anything to hurt you and disrupt the office, they just don't agree.

9/24/2012
Normal/IL
Sami
Hess/NCWHS
I think that "likes" should most ccertainly be included under the first amendment. The first amendment protects a persons ability to express themselves, not just in speech. Also, how is pressing the like button any different from commenting on something, saying you like it? I am sure if someone were to say, "haha that's so funny" they would be protected! There is no difference between that and simply pressing the like button.

9/11/2012
Irving, TX
Kasey
Austin/JESA
I believe that the liking on facebook is a form of free speech, and that the people firing others over it are taking the likes too seriously. Facebook is merely a social networking page, where you can share things with others and so forth. And as the times change but laws remain the same, the protection from the 1st Amendment, likely should cover most forms of speech, the only exceptions perhaps being if some ones speech was directed at harming individuals.

9/10/2012
Texas
Crystal
JESA
"Liking" something on Facebook shouldn't be considered insignificant. It still shows your point of view simply without using words. It is still a form of speech even though you are not verbally saying anything. "Liking" something is still a form of speech that gets your opinion out there in a different way that people may not be used to, but just because people aren't used to it doesn't mean that it no longer can be classified as a form of speech that doesn't need to be protected under the first amendment.

9/7/2012
Sidney, Montana
Molly
Mr. Faulhaber
I don't think something as simple as "liking" something on Facebook should have anything to do with a person's job. If someone chooses to bad mouth their employer to a friend on the site, it isn't something that can affect them because of the First Amendment. To "like" something should fall under the same category. Everyone has a right to their opinion.

9/7/2012
Sidney, MT
Zachary
Mr.Faulhaber, SHS
The acts mentioned in this article are basic acts of discrimination. We have the freedom of speech and we should be allowed to express our opinion without facing negative ramifications.

9/7/2012
Sidney, MT
Katelyn
Faulhaber, SHS
It should be protected under the First Amendment.

9/7/2012
Sidney Montana
Lacey
Mr. Faulhaber Sidney High School
People should be able to post whatever they want of facebook. It is a freedom of speach and if it is on your wall and someone doesnt like it they should just ignore it.

9/7/2012
Sidney, Montana
Whitney
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
I believe Facebook shouldn't be used against a person when it comes to their job. They have personal rights and just because they "liked" something such as another business does not mean that need to lose their job over it. Facebook is supposed to be used to communicate with friends or family members from other towns and states and its a way to express ourselves as individuals.

9/7/2012
Sidney/Montana
Mandi
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
I believe that Facebook is a place that you can express yourself, cause chaotic drama if you please(unfortunantly), and stay in contact with people that live far away from you. I think the 'like' button should be protected, liking something on facebook is just like you were sitting in a classroom and the teacher asked you to raise your hand with your opinion on certain subjects or if you liked something the teacher said. In my opinion there is no difference between the two things. And if you can do it in a classroom, you can do it on the internet just as easy.

9/7/2012
Sidney
Abbe
Mr. Faulhaber
Facebook should be protected tunder the First Amendmet. Facebook is part of a persons private life. It would be like being able to fire somebody for what they said to their friend. If a person likes a rival company or person, they should not have to keep it to themselfs. This is america! Freedom of speech is one of the main reasons people come to this country. If the government starts to limit our speech on the internet where does it stop? Will it stop with just the likes on Facebook or continue on to the posts? It could go even further on to comments on clothing or even wristbands.

9/7/2012
Sidney, MT
Marcos A.
Mr. Faulaber
I feel a "Like" is part of symbolic speak because it does in a way show what you feel.

9/7/2012
Sidney Montana
Abby
Mr. Faulhaber
A Facebook "like" should most definitely be protected under the First Amendment. Facebook is a social network and should be left out of the work place.

9/7/2012
Sidney Montana
Jason
Mr. Faulhaber
I believe that simply hitting the "Like" button on facebook should not get you in trouble in most cases. The reason I say most cases is because I believe someone should get in trouble if they like a status that includes a litigament threat to someone else. The person who wrote the status should also get in trouble.

9/7/2012
Montana
Keziah
Sidney High School
I think that it's ridiculous to say that "liking" something can get you into trouble. I think that it's a great way to communicate with one's friends. When walking through the halls of school all you hear about is what is going on in the Facebook world. It's definitely a good way to share interests and strike up a conversation with someone you might not even know.

8/2/2012
Benson/Arizona
Karma
Mr. Sorensen/Benson High School
I believe Facebook should not be used against a person, it's their personal life and they should have the right to privacy of things they enjoy. Although somethings could be highly innapropriate for the workplace to post, I do not see the problem with only 'liking' somebody else's post.

8/2/2012
Benson AZ
Janetta
Mr. Sorensen
I think it is ok to "like" whatever you want of Facebook because it is freedom of speech. If you can't do or say what you feel then what is the piont right. I mean come on how bad can it really get right.

8/2/2012
Arizona
Justin
Benson
i really like all this good stuff, its the best there is haha but we should learn more ;)

8/2/2012
Benson AZ
Will
sorenson// benson
The measure of a man is not how he responds to such a simple thing. His facebook dealings shall not be the factor on which his fate is decided. In today's society, people are far too quick to act on impulse, and further their misunderstanding of the matter with which they are dealing. facebook has turned into such a large part of the lives of today's youth. Many times some one may just click "like" simply to effect other's view of them. It has turned into such a fire and forget ordeal, it shouldn't be taken seriously on a consistent basis.

8/2/2012
Benson, AZ
Jordan Bost
Sworenson/Benson
I believe that this topic is a little ridiculous. It is just a social network site, where people interact and keep in touch with friends. Getting fired, or losing your posisition in your job just because you liked something is a little bit far. Dont get me wrong, people need to watch themselves about what they say, post, like, or anything else on social networking cites. Judge Jackson is right in my opinion about this vague topic. There is not enough information. Loosing a job posistion because of liking something your boss did not agree with is not right.

8/2/2012
Benson, Arizona
Hope King
Mr. Sonrensen
I think it wrong because people have a choice to have a opion of where they would like to eat at and they have a choice if they cant eat the food of where they work they they need to go somewhere else. Even though they help other people out they can always help there business out by bringing there friends to where you work to get money there also.

8/2/2012
benson az
matt
sorenson/ benson unified
simply liking something on facebook shouldn't stand for so much. people are to quick to act in a negative way

5/29/2012
Irving/Texas
Grecia
Bradley/Nimitz
I don't believe that a simple "like" on facebook should be under the First Amendment, I think that it's foolish and simply preposterous. It doesn't make any sense for anyone to be judged or even let go from their job because of a silly network action. Judge Raymond Jackson is correct, "liking" a page on Facebook is so insignificant and no one should be judged because of it. Losing your job because of this is very unfair, on the contrary I think that if companies have the time to stalk your Facebook "likings" then there is definitely a problem there. Facebook should be an outside social network source, and it should be private. It does not fall into a symbolic speech, in many cases people just like a page just because, they don't have a good enough reason to do so, they just do, and there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone has the right to express themselves however they want to. It's immature and useless to even think about "liking" something on Facebook to be the cause to getting fired and having your life changed forever.

5/29/2012
Irving/TX
Jordan
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that ''liking'' a Facebook post is just a part of our way of we express our opinion. Facebook is a tool of Modern technology that helps us stay connected socially . Who has the right to say I'm wrong for expressing myself? It's just crazy that the Sheriff did not retain his employees.He should have confronted them and worked something out;an explanation.

5/29/2012
Irving
Melissa
Bradley/Nimitz
I strongly believe that "liking" things on facebook should be protected under the first amendment. Getting fired because you "liked" something on facebook is not a good reason and there is no way that someone can justify that we a good explanation. When you "like" something on facebook it's because you simply "like" it or you thought it was funny, etc,. I can easily go "like" an artist that I listen to because I like his/her music, but that does not necessarily mean that I agree with other things that they say or do. The things that I like on facebook should in no way change my life. The example that they had about the Coach and the player was really immature. I don't know why a grown man/woman would make someone else suffer because of what they "liked" on facebook. This whole issue is very immature to me. People need to get with the times and not let social networking sites control their lives.

5/28/2012
Irving TX
Elizabeth R
Bradley/ Nimitz
The facebook “Like” is the dumbest issue I have read about yet. People “like” things for many reason. As a facebook user I can tell you that I have “Liked” things because I actually like it, its funny , or even because I don't like it. I completely agree with Judge Raymond Jackson. This issue is too Insignificant. There are many reasons why a person hits the “Like” button on facebook. There is no way an employer, coach, or anyone else to know the true one. It is something that should not even be cared for.

5/28/2012
Irving/Tx
Lucy
Bradley / Nimitz
The first amendment gives us all the freedom of speech – the right to our own opinions and ideas. We have the right to do and “like” things as we please. Being a teenager that spends most of her time on social networks, I can tell you that “liking” something on facebook is the last thing from being serious! Most of us tend to like things that we hate, think ironically of, like, find funny, etc...the list goes on and on! Judge Raymond Jackson was right to state that it is too insignificant to merit protection because no one's life is being threatened or causing a riot to break out just because I “liked” something. People just need to learn to not take things so serious sometimes and make something out of nothing. A click of a button just isn't enough to be considered a way of “actively” speaking out or standing up for something.

5/24/2012
Irving, TX
Jocelyn P
Bradley/Nimitz
I think it is completely absurd that liking a simple comment on face book is now being argued over if it should be protected. It's face book, and this country currently has bigger and more important issues that it needs to take care of. I agree with the Judge Raymond Jackson to think that this is to insignificant to have to classify if it should be protected. It's too insipid of a matter to work a fuss up out of, and should just be left alone as it is.

5/21/2012
Irving, TX
Allison
Bradley/Nimitz
Liking posts on Facebook should be protected under the First Amendment. To rule that comments on a post are protected and likes are not is unsound; comments like “This is so cool!” or “Love this!” are protected but a like is not is simply not fair. Call it symbolic speech or not, the like button on Facebook is another way of communicating opinions – or as some would call it, speech. If Facebook comments are significant enough to warrant attention in court, then so are likes, and thus they both should be protected.

5/15/2012
Irving/TX
Adam
Bradley/Nimitz
Facebook likes are not symbolic speech. I have liked thousands of things over the years, it does not mean that i support or agree with them. A lot of the time people like things just to show that they recognized it, I have seen many statuses that say, 'worst day ever' or, "my life stinks", and I proceed to 'like' the status. This does not mean that I like that they are having a bad day, it means that I see that they are having a bad day and that I recognize it. Likes shouldn't even have to be protected undet the First Amendment, it is ridiculous that it is even an issue.

5/14/2012
Montana
Taylor
Mrs. Campbell
Facebook is a social network; therefore, while using Facebook you are socializing. When socializing what do we do? We may say some things that aren’t very appropriate or necessary. We do this because we have the freedom of speech; therefore, we should have that exact freedom on the internet while using Facebook. On Facebook, if you see something you like, you press the handy dandy “like” button. Why would they put it on there if we weren’t supposed to use it? Pressing “like” is just like saying “I like what you’re saying.” We say this because we have a freedom. Everything we do now days is because we have freedom. The government can’t control every little thing we do.

5/11/2012
Irving/ Tx
Itzel
Bradley/ Nimitz
Any social network will ruin relationships, jobs, and any social situations. I believe they should not let a simple “ Like” on Facebook determine anything job related. I believe they should just leave what happens on Facebook in Facebook and whatever happens at work in work. I don't think it is fair for someone to get judged and punished for something that they liked on the social network. If that person has not given them any other reason to get in trouble, then there is no excuse for using a simple “Like”. A “ Like” on Facebook will NOT do anything drastic. I think Facebook should be protected under the First Amendment.

5/11/2012
Porterville, CA
John
Smith/Monache
The first amendment was designed with the notion that the unpopular opinions will get criticized. Constitutional protection of speech must therefore be granted to any form of opinion, whether it is a verbalized disrespect for an individual or a "like" on Facebook. Freedom of speech should only not apply in cases where that which is expressed does not express an opinion and where it can cause present and imminent danger. Opinions don't hurt people, people themselves let opinions hurt them.

5/10/2012
poterville,ca
salinna hernandez
mr. smith/ monache high school
The liking of a certain thing shouldnt get you in trouble. It could mean the likeing of something on that page. though it shouldnt come involved within workk and free time. They are not letting them have there freedom of speech. Also they shouldnt have a right to fire a co-worker based on that. In conclusion, the freedom of speech shouldnt protect facebook likes,

5/9/2012
Benson/ AZ
Ryan M.
Sowernson/ Benson
Facebook destroys lives, if people are really agruing about something this stupid and pathetic, then you know theres a problem somwhere. I agree that the Facebook "like" button should be protected because indeed it is simply a way to express yourself, which i beleive is one of our freedoms.

5/9/2012
Irving/TX
Cathy
Bradley/Nimitz
A Facebook “like” should be protected speech under the First Amendment. Liking something on Facebook means that you agree with it, that's your taste, and that is how you feel. In my mind, that does show that you are expressing your speech. “Liking” something on facebook means that you would say the same thing, but someone did before you so you just agree with it. Although, even if a Facebook “like” is protected speech under the First Amendment, employers will still fire employees that “like” something that they do not. It's just part of how people are. Sadly, people resent others who don't have the same mindset as them.Yes, it might be too insignificant to merit protection as Judge Raymond Jackson said, but it does happen. It's not going to be much trouble or take so much money to get it into affect. It totally falls into the realm of symbolic speech. Freedom of speech covers a variety of things including “likes” on Facebook.

5/9/2012
Irving, TX
Areli M.
Bradley/ Nimitz
Personally, I believe that the coach and the boss in this article are plain childish. They were just looking for reasons to sit the player out or fire the employees. A mature individual would not care at all if their player or employee "liked" someone's page. I completely support the opinion on protecting the *like under our 1st amendment. It is not insignificant since it IS in the realm of symbolic speech. Obviously if it was too insignificant, the player wouldn't have gotten benched or the employees wouldn't have been fired. It's a matter of using bogus excuses to justify unfair actions and making a big deal out of someone's cyber opinion. Obviously if the *like was insignificant, why would individuas post pictures to gain support for a cause or create a page and try to gather as many likes as possible to point out how many other people support the idea, opinion, etc. The Facebook *like should be protected simply because it means more than people make it out to be.

5/6/2012
Porterville CA
Anthony
Mr. Smith/Monache High School
Yes, I think that the "Like" Button on Facebook should be protected in the first Amendment. Facebook is open to the public but is a freedom of speach. Any has the right to express themselves in any form. How can someone get into trouble for expressing themselves to the public. It's the same as going into public and making a public speech. So how is the "Like" button on facebook any different from making a public speech. I believe it should be in the Frirst Amendment as a right of freedom of speech.

5/3/2012
Benson Az
Kendra
Mr.Sorenson Benson High School
Yes, I do believe a Facebook "like" should be protected under the First Amendment. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, it is your own opinion, it is your own ideas, your own outtakes and looks on things. The name basically clears it up, it is something you like. People are allowed to like whatever they want, it is their life. Just because they "like" something else, doesn't mean they do not also "like" their job and their companys items. Judge Raymond Jackson is wrong, he simply wants to start an arguement. I'm sure if he was in a position like them he would feel like his rights to be free and like what he wants are taken away from him. The fact that people are making a big deal, and argiong and making a case in this is ridiculous. It is a waste of time!

5/3/2012
Benson/Arizona
Paxton
Mr.Sorenson/BHS
well listen if there your friends on Facebook and your doing these things you should tell them or explain. there really is no reason why you should have your boss as your friends anyway

5/3/2012
Benson Az
Chace
Mr. Sorensen
I think they should be allowed to question such things. But they should not be permitted to take such drastic actions against such discrepancies. These things usually aren't discrepancies at all. Besides the field of human emotions are often so general that just because you "like" the "megadeath mall shoot out video game, does not mean you are a psycho and should be restrained so that you can't go shoot a mall up. The world of human emotion is generalized to much to be able to take such extreme actions against such minimal missteps.

5/3/2012
Benson, AZ
Emily
Sorensen/BensonHS
Liking something doesn't have anything to you with your speech and what your communicating. It's more of something that goes on in your head and not that comes out of your mouth. I don't know why people make such a big deal of it, it's stupid.

5/3/2012
Irving/TX
Dalena
Bradley/Nimitz
A Facebook "like" is a form of expressing one's self -- and the dictionary definition of "freedom of speech" is clearly stated, "The right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint." Well, if the First Amendment indicates that we shall have Freedom of Speech, then why should we be punished for expressing ourselves through Facebook "likes?" I don't believe that Judge Raymond Jackson's ruling was right. If our government truly is a government that lives by the Constitution, then our government shouldn't punish those of us who are simply just expressing our freedom of speech through Facebook "likes."

5/3/2012
Irving/Texas
Taylor G
Bradley/ Nimitz
I think that “liking” a page on Facebook does not convey any sort of active involvement in speech, symbolic or not. A “like” is a click of a button, not a participation of speech. There is no thought in hitting a button. “Liking” a status or post is not a demonstration or protest. Businesses should not be able to gather any personal information from a “like” because there is no information to gather from it. As for First Amendment rights it should not be protected because a “like” is not a form of speech.

5/2/2012
Porterville/CA
Mario
Smith/Monache
I believe that "liking" is an act which should be protected under the first amendment. This "liking" is an act of freedom of speech and opinion. Regarding a scenario of your boss leaving you due to you "liking" something else is absolutely absurd. In the end it is still the poster's opinion and that should be protected.

5/2/2012
AZ
Rayleahna
Sorenson
Freedom of speech is freedom of opinion and idea. If we chose to like something on Facebook that is our own business. My boss' already check my page and pictures, I'm careful enough with my Facebook. It really doesn't matter what or who we "like" that is just an opinion. Not a really action. It wouldn't be like if I was in a picture protesting or in a picture hugging another team!

5/2/2012
Benson/ AZ
Robert Cordova
Sorenson/ Benson High
yep, being in trouble for liking something on facebook is rediculous. If it were going to be a problem, it should have been rendered unconstitutional at the start of it, not just now when it's grown to size. its bull....

5/2/2012
benso/ arizona
jonathan sooter
merv sorenson/ benson high school
i tink that if someone just likes something you dont like gives thoses few induvials have to go and fire people for it becuase thats what they think. so yeah i think that the like button and all not vocal respones should be protected because it sybolize who we are and what we work to stand for. so i do think think juge jackson is wrong because he dosent know what hes talking about.

5/2/2012
Benson, AZ
Tori Moncada
Sorenson/ Benson High School
I think that you should be able to like something on facebook if you want its freedom of speech! You shouldn't be able to get in trouble if you like another team if you are on another team! Just like what you want on facebook and everyone can deal with it!

5/2/2012
Benson, AZ
Jenna
Mr. Sorensen/Benson High School
I think thats stupid. Why should you get in trouble for liking something? Isn't it your choice on what you like and dislike? You can work at a place that serves food and not like it so why would it matter if you "like" it or not?

5/2/2012
Benson AZ
Ryan
Sorenson Benson High School
yes it should protect us because it is our opinion and though it might be supporting a rivaal company or sport team they should me able to have their own opinion in life as the first amendment states.

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