Facebook: 'Like' Button is Protected Speech

Attorneys for Facebook and the American Civil Liberties Union want a federal appeals court to rule that clicking the "Like" button on the social networking site is constitutionally protected speech.

Friend of the court briefs were filed this week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond.

The case revolves around six employees who were fired by Hampton Sheriff B.J. Roberts after they supported his opponent in his 2009 re-election bid, which he won.

The workers sued, saying their First Amendment rights were violated. One of the workers `liked' the Facebook page of Roberts' opponent.

Among other things, U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson ruled that simply clicking the "Like" button wasn't sufficient enough speech to garner First Amendment protection.

The workers are appealing.

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