The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Facebook "likes" are protected speech under the First Amendment. In the case, employees of Hampton, Virginia sheriff B.J. Roberts "liked" the page of his political opponent and were fired. The Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia initially ruled "likes" were insufficient to warrant constitutional protection.

Fourth Circuit Holds That Facebook “Like” Is Protected by the First Amendment Remember that Facebook photo of a friend’s vacation that you “liked” a couple of days ago?  Well, congratulations, you’ve just exercised your constitutional right to free speech!  This week, in an intensely followed case in the Fourth Circuit, the court held that “liking” something on Facebook is “a form of speech protected by the First Amendment.” View Full Post
Fourth Circuit Holds "Liking" a Facebook Page is Protected Speech in the Public Employment Context. What Does This Mean In the Private Employers? Within the last month, courts have taken steps to protect communications made via social media. For example, in Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp., No. 2:11-cv-03305 (D.N.J. Aug 20, 2013), which we reported on here, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey held that private Facebook posts are protected under the Stored Communications Act. View Full Post
A federal appellate court on Wednesday ruled that the First Amendment protects the act of “liking” on Facebook or other social media. In Bland v. Roberts, a sheriff’s deputy “liked” the Facebook page of the candidate who was challenging the incumbent sheriff in the upcoming elections. View Full Post
Fourth Circuit Holds Clicking Facebook “Like” Button Can Be Protected Political Expression:  In Law360 ($$), Ben James analyzes the recent decision in Bland v. Roberts, where among other things, the appellate court found the mere “liking” of a Facebook page constitutes political expression on account of which the First Amendment may protect public employees from termination. View Full Post
You “like” me, you really “like” me – Looking at the legal effect of Facebook likes and friends Is liking something expressive activity protected by the First Amendment?  Does being a Facebook “friend” create the appearance of impropriety requiring the judge to recuse himself from the case?  Leave it to Facebook to make us answer these questions. View Full Post