Friday, August 10, 2012

"Like" Button and Free Speech Paradox

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There is a line between invasion of privacy and not being able to have free speech at your job. The case of  Deputy Daniel Ray Carter Jr. in Virgina is an example that business shouldn't go far away invading the privacy of their employees or blocking their free expression right by telling they cannot give any opinion or support different competitors. Deputy Carter where he supported a boss competitor caused him his job; so what a person with a blog who gives their opinions regarding different subjects should do.? Know exactly what to hold in case of a lawsuit or an unexpected situation.

The example of the deputy goes that he clicked the like button of a competitor of his boss and he got fired; if you are a public employee on many States they forbid you to have social media, which is comprehensible since you work with the government but also it goes on invasion of privacy if you don't support your direct boss; it's a tricky scenario where there is a lose-lose situation where you a stuck and you cannot give any free opinion but yet you can't violate the confidentiality you signed in.

Deputy Carter filled a lawsuit that his first Amendment right was violated and his case reached the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. This week, Facebook and the ACLU filed briefs supporting what they say is Carter's constitutional right to express his opinion, signaling the case's potentially precedent-setting nature.

But where are the rights protected online.? Westboro Baptist Church are protected even they promulgate hate speech but giving a "like" on a post caused a major problem for one man; the interest of the case was sparked by a lower court's ruling that the action by the deputy does not warrant a protection on the free speech because - it doesn't involve any actual statements - If the ACLU and others worry, even hitting a re-tweet on your Twitter won't be protected as free speech.

The problem's a simple button doesn't say too much beyond that you like the photo, statement or whatever the button is placed, it's just a button to express sympathy and that's it and there are more than 3 billion per day registries according to Facebook, but yet the use of social media is a taboo topic on the workplace because of many motives that can go from corporate protection to simple keep control of the employees.