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Liking’ Facebook page could get you fired

Six workers in the United States have been fired for clicking the ‘Like’ button on a Facebook page of their boss''s political opponent after a judge ruled that ‘liking’ a page is not constitutionally protected speech.

social media Updated: May 10, 2012 14:35 IST
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Six workers in the United States have been fired for clicking the ‘Like’ button on a Facebook page of their boss's political opponent after a judge ruled that ‘liking’ a page is not constitutionally protected speech.

Sheriff B.J. Roberts of Hampton, Virginia, fired six of his staff members for liking the Facebook page of his running opponent in the 2009 election.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, he said that their actions had ‘hindered the harmony and efficiency of the office’.

The staff members sued, claiming that their First Amendment rights had been violated.

US Judge Raymond A. Jackson of the Federal District Court, however, said that clicking the "like" button did not amount to expressive speech.

According to the paper, the judge conceded that other court rulings have acknowledged Facebook posts as protected speech, but said that those cases had involved "actual statements".

The law remains murky around communication via social media, but in the meantime, one must be careful about what they click on.