The “Like” button on Facebook, which incidentally we would appreciate if you would click below, has become intertwined with our culture. Most people throw around their “Like’s” with little regard for the implications of it. After all, this is America, right? We have free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment anyway, so what’s the big deal? How bad can a Facebook “Like” really be? Well, some people in Virginia are finding out the hard way.
A sheriff in Hampton, Virginia fired six people from his department. The six banded together to sue the sheriff, B.J. Roberts, because they believe that the reason they were terminated is because he found out that they supported his opponent in his re-election campaign. They cited the First Amendment as the reason they should not have been fired from their jobs. At least one of them “Liked” the opponent’s Facebook page. The judge in the case ruled that pressing the “Like” button on Facebook is not a written message and therefore not covered by the First Amendment.
For the record, Sheriff Roberts says that all of the six were fired for poor work performance or because their support of his opponent disrupted his office.