Legal News of the Day: Like Something on Facebook! It’s Free Speech!

facebook-like-logoOn Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held in Bland v. Roberts that the use of the “Like” button on Facebook qualifies as constitutionally protected free speech under the First Amendment and cannot be used against public employees.  The case arose after five former appointees at the Hampton, Virginia sheriff’s office were not reappointed after they used the like button to support his opponent’s campaign.  The court rule that their public expression did not interfere with their job duties as public servants and likened their actions to putting a campaign poster in their front yards, a type of speech that has long been protected.