Limits on Free Speech

by Admin on August 9, 2012

Facebook “likes” and free speech

Daniel Ray Carter Jr. was fired as a deputy after he “liked” a page on Facebook that was for a candidate who was challenging his boss, the sheriff of Hampton, Va.

Now he is in the middle of a First Amendment debate over the action stating that liking something on Facebook is protected under free speech.

Carter’s case has reached the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and Facebook and the ACLU filed briefs supporting what they say is Carter’s constitutional right to express his opinion.

A lower court’s ruling stated that “liking” a page does not involved actual statements and is therefore not protected. If upheld the ACLU and other worry many other web-based, mouse-click actions will not be protect as free speech.

In another case the Marine Corps said it would discharge a sergeant who criticized President Obama  on his Facebook page. However, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that a New York non profit illegally fired five workers who criticized a colleague on the site.

Freedom of Speech Unless it’s Critical of Obama

Just like the sergeant who criticized President Obama on Facebook Saturday Night Live comedian is coming under fire for venting about how the president thinks the rich don’t pay their fair share in taxes.

He says he has received death threats and has been called a racist.  Lovitz had also caused controversy when he tweeted a photoof Obama holding his Nobel Peace Prize and wrote over it “Nobel Peace Prize? You didn’t earn that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Fellow comedian Dana Carvey criticized the “sensitivity” people have when jokes are made about the president. Carvey said this was “scary and dangerous” as it affects freedom of speech.

WND reported that major news agencies have had to submit news articles regarding politicians to be “censored” at the White House before publication. Given the “cloak of secrecy” around President Obama, we wonder why the Facebok “likes” case, involving the small-town sheriff and deputy, is major news, while there is a virtual media blackout of free speech with regard to President Obama.




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