"It is the Court's conclusion that merely 'liking' a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection," District Judge Raymond A. Jackson held in Bland v. Roberts, Civil No. 11-45 (E.D. Va. Apr. 24, 2012), slip op. at 6.
Forbes now reports that one of the former employees has appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has garnered amicus support from the ACLU and from Facebook itself.
Facebook's brief argues that
The district court’s holding that“‘liking’ a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection” because it does not “involve actual statements,” betrays a misunderstanding of the nature of the communication at issue and disregards well-settled Supreme Court and Fourth Circuit precedent. Liking a Facebook Page (or other website) is core speech: it is a statement that will be viewed by a small group of Facebook Friends or by a vast community of online users.Amicus brief at 2.
The case is Bland v. Roberts, No. 12-1671 (4th Cir. appeal filed May 22, 2012).