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(Chicago Trib)   Judge rules that the First Amendment does not mean Facebook "likes" are free speech   (chicagotribune.com) divider line 119
    More: PSA, Judges' Rules, First Amendment, Adams' Facebook, free speech, Eugene Volokh, vcu, protections, federal judges  
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9180 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 May 2012 at 5:16 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-04 06:10:59 PM

downstairs: The first ammendment does not protect free speech on the job. I've known this since 5th grade civics class.


If your job is for the government, then yes, yes it does.

This wouldn't be an issue if this were a private employer, but because this is the government it is an issue. The bill of rights is what the government cannot do.
 
2012-05-04 06:11:33 PM

ShawnDoc: They're not actively trying to fark it over. They just don't know any better. Their minds developed and solidified before the advent of the Internet, and they'll never quite fully understand it. I see this with my parents all the time.

We'll likely be the same way when we reach their age. Already I see myself not understanding the music kids like these days (specifically dub step). I'm sure when I'm in my 60's, I'll be scratching my head at the Ultranet and not understanding why anyone would want to implant a mood enhancer into their spine.


That's why there should be term limits for judges.
 
2012-05-04 06:12:02 PM

GAT_00: This guy was born in 1949. He shouldn't be this stupid and out of touch with technology. This ruling is absurd.


Not if you look at it from the perspective of limiting constitutional protections.

That said, considering the power of the government, I find judges who take narrow interpretations of individual rights to be right up near the top of my list of people who are a frightening combination of stupid and power.
 
2012-05-04 06:13:17 PM
Judge = twit.

Government employee, political expression, favoring the challenger in an election = protected expression = DUH.
 
2012-05-04 06:22:27 PM
I wonder if I would get fired if I liked the Facebook page of a competitor. It certainly wouldn't help my career path.
 
2012-05-04 06:23:11 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Yes, I am

/doesn't make me a complete idiot, though


Being old? No. The statement you made? Yes.

The people saying that the Negroes, Mexicans, gays, etc are ruining this country are doing so based on prejudice and bigotry. The people saying that the Baby Boomers are ruining this country are doing so based on the Baby Boomers own actions. False equivalency, friend. There's a huge difference between having brown skin and actively trying to remove constitutional freedoms.
 
2012-05-04 06:23:22 PM
If he'd had his money hit that "like" button, the ruling surely would have been different.
 
2012-05-04 06:25:21 PM
I hope that anyone living within 6 miles of this dickhead forbdids their children from having anthing to do with theirs.
 
2012-05-04 06:30:02 PM

cannotsuggestaname: Not really. It is more like you post up something on your Geocities page and I say "yeah, what he said" and then I get fired for it.


This.
 
2012-05-04 06:30:20 PM
B-b-b-but he's clearly supporting the Kenyan Socialist Fartbongo by not immediately kissing his bosses ass and blindly following every order his boss gives him while ignoring his boss violating every law ever written, therefore it naturally follows that, by liking his bosses' opponent, he is a Kenyan Socialist and must have his voice silenced for not immediately recognizing that his bosses' opponent is a Kenyan Socialist and must be opposed with every fiber of his being, and that that silly document the Socialist Communist Liberal media insists is the law of the land can freely be ignored.
 
2012-05-04 06:34:54 PM

CtrlAltDestroy: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Yes, I am

/doesn't make me a complete idiot, though

Being old? No. The statement you made? Yes.

The people saying that the Negroes, Mexicans, gays, etc are ruining this country are doing so based on prejudice and bigotry. The people saying that the Baby Boomers are ruining this country are doing so based on the Baby Boomers own actions. False equivalency, friend. There's a huge difference between having brown skin and actively trying to remove constitutional freedoms.


So you're saying it's justifiable to paint an entire generation with the same brush? And that's somehow different from making blanket statements about any other group?

/do you honestly believe everyone in an entire generation is somehow conspiring to remove constitutional freedoms?
//that's just absurd
 
2012-05-04 06:40:22 PM

Warlordtrooper: downstairs: The first ammendment does not protect free speech on the job. I've known this since 5th grade civics class.

If your job is for the government, then yes, yes it does.

This wouldn't be an issue if this were a private employer, but because this is the government it is an issue. The bill of rights is what the government cannot do.


Interesting. I didn't know that. I assumed the government's relationship to its workers as employees was different than as private citizens.

As in... they can be censored like many employees are contractually. But a cop still can't barge into their homes without a warrant. Etc.
 
2012-05-04 06:45:37 PM
America: where dumping unlimited money into politics is free speech, but not the simplest expression of approval possible on something like facebook.
 
2012-05-04 06:52:30 PM

EvilEgg: Money is speech, however.


Of course, that's why it's not FREE speech. Cough up some dough, and you can "Like" whatever you like.
 
2012-05-04 06:55:07 PM

cmunic8r99: How could it not be speech and still be considered to hinder the harmony and effectiveness of the office?


I think the judge has a good argument that it's not protected speech. Free speech is limited in a political setting, and a Sheriff is a political position.

However, it's pretty clearly free association. All that a 'like' does is associate you with somebody else, after all. How can that not be free association?

However, where the judge is goes into full derp is where he says that Sheriff is immune even if there was a 1st Amendment violation because the Sheriff might not understand the 1st Amendment.
 
2012-05-04 06:58:20 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: So you're saying it's justifiable to paint an entire generation with the same brush? And that's somehow different from making blanket statements about any other group?

/do you honestly believe everyone in an entire generation is somehow conspiring to remove constitutional freedoms?
//that's just absurd


No, I don't believe that the entire generation is a problem. I do believe, however, that a disproportionate number of them are.

And yes, when that blanket statement is said it's less moronic then your negro/Mexican/gay blanket statement due to the catalyst of the claims being made.

Nothing makes your false equivalency and less false, though.
 
2012-05-04 07:01:16 PM

The Jami Turman Fan Club: However, where the judge is goes into full derp is where he says that Sheriff is immune even if there was a 1st Amendment violation because the Sheriff might not understand the 1st Amendment.


That part pisses me off just as much as the main crux of this issue. We're not allowed to use that as an excuse but someone whose job it is to know the law, is.
 
2012-05-04 07:03:54 PM

The Jami Turman Fan Club: cmunic8r99: How could it not be speech and still be considered to hinder the harmony and effectiveness of the office?

I think the judge has a good argument that it's not protected speech. Free speech is limited in a political setting, and a Sheriff is a political position.


What are you smoking? Can I have some?

Free speech is protected the most strongly when it is about government and politics, because the core purpose of protecting free speech was to ensure citizens would always be free to criticize our government, and that government officials, elected or appointed, in any area of government whatsoever, would not have the power to silence whistleblowers and critics, not that you would be free to get a lap dance by a body-painted stripper on Turquoise Tequila Tuesdays.
 
2012-05-04 07:04:07 PM

CtrlAltDestroy: MaudlinMutantMollusk: So you're saying it's justifiable to paint an entire generation with the same brush? And that's somehow different from making blanket statements about any other group?

/do you honestly believe everyone in an entire generation is somehow conspiring to remove constitutional freedoms?
//that's just absurd

No, I don't believe that the entire generation is a problem. I do believe, however, that a disproportionate number of them are.

And yes, when that blanket statement is said it's less moronic then your negro/Mexican/gay blanket statement due to the catalyst of the claims being made.

Nothing makes your false equivalency and less false, though.


Bigotry is bigotry no matter how you try to rationalize it

/I see no false equivalency, but you're entitled to your opinion
 
2012-05-04 07:07:43 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Bigotry is bigotry no matter how you try to rationalize it

/I see no false equivalency, but you're entitled to your opinion


Being against someone because of their dangerous and oppressive actions is far different from being against someone because of their appearance or sexual orientation.

If you cannot acknowledge this then you are not worth trying to converse with.
 
2012-05-04 07:12:25 PM
rlv.zcache.com
 
2012-05-04 07:12:59 PM

CtrlAltDestroy: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Bigotry is bigotry no matter how you try to rationalize it

/I see no false equivalency, but you're entitled to your opinion

Being against someone because of their dangerous and oppressive actions is far different from being against someone because of their appearance or sexual orientation.

If you cannot acknowledge this then you are not worth trying to converse with.


Go ahead and hate people that never did anything to harm you and tell yourself you're not a bigot

/have a nice day, son
 
2012-05-04 07:14:21 PM
So clicking a button that says "I like this" isn't protected, but typing "I like this" is? This needs to go to a more competent judge.
 
2012-05-04 07:26:13 PM

Three Crooked Squirrels: OtherLittleGuy: Post a political sign on the lawn, "Vote for My Boss' Opponent". Your boss win, fires you.

Protected speech?

Yes.


No
 
2012-05-04 07:28:08 PM
Pressing the Like button causes a message to appear on your friends' news feeds that says "So-and-so likes such-and-such." It's definitely publishing a statement. Judge is wrong.
 
2012-05-04 07:30:08 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Go ahead and hate people that never did anything to harm you and tell yourself you're not a bigot

/have a nice day, son


And now it goes from absurd straight to being funny. I love it. You seem to view "son" as some sort of demeaning title. It isn't. It's a pathetic attempt to show superiority over someone. All it does is remind me that you're going to die well before I do.

You're still missing the point, though. The boomers, or at least enough of them to be dangerous, are doing harm to me. They are slowly trying to erode my freedoms and have done very bad things to our economy. The damage they are doing will need to be fixed by my peers and I after they've died and are no longer able to do further harm.

You've failed to show any form of logic. You also ended your last post with a poor attempt to establish superficial superiority. As I promised I'm no longer going to waste any time on you. If you respond to this know that you do so in vain.
 
2012-05-04 07:43:02 PM
Doesn't this judge have a clerk who can explain all these new-fangled MyBooks and FaceSpaces to him?
 
2012-05-04 07:47:22 PM

svenge: Doesn't this judge have a clerk who can explain all these new-fangled MyBooks and FaceSpaces to him?


He did have a clerk. He fired him. Young whippersnapper was always in there playing games on his Xstation64.
 
2012-05-04 07:59:13 PM

CruJones: I wonder if I would get fired if I liked the Facebook page of a competitor. It certainly wouldn't help my career path.


This is a different thing though. That is saying something bad about your employer. In this case, the people's employer was the sheriff's office, not the sheriff. If people liked the current sheriff and the opponent won, should the new sheriff be allowed to fire those who supported the incumbent on those grounds?
 
2012-05-04 08:03:53 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Where's our resident Constitutional scholar?

/I'm sure he can clear this up for everyone


Yes, I already did.

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-dc-circuit/1532790.html

If necessary, I am available to clear this up for the Fourth Circuit as well.
 
2012-05-04 08:13:11 PM
You have the right to express your opinion. You do not have the right to be free of the consequences of doing so.
 
2012-05-04 08:32:14 PM

StoPPeRmobile: [www.trbimg.com image 580x326]

[youfail.com image 421x300]



"Screw you guys, I'm left handed"
 
2012-05-04 08:34:37 PM
I don't know what that judge is more clueless about: technology or the law.

//assuming the article is correct about the holding
 
2012-05-04 08:35:32 PM

CtrlAltDestroy: You've failed to show any form of logic.


lol, that's precious.
 
2012-05-04 08:42:42 PM

Howard Dean: You have the right to express your opinion. You do not have the right to be free of the consequences of doing so.


Yes, you do, for the universe remembers expressions of mind.

Universe gives two shiats about media on earth.

Mind wins.

;)
 
2012-05-04 08:46:26 PM

cannotsuggestaname: Pud: It's all of that Like, this and Share that nonsense. It confuses the issues as to whose speech it actually is, and therefor who is protected under the first amendment. If I post something on my Geocities page, it is clearly MY thought, MY speech. Therefore there is no doubt I am the one protected.

/It makes more sense that way

Not really. It is more like you post up something on your Geocities page and I say "yeah, what he said" and then I get fired for it. It is protected speech, even though I am not the one that came up with the words or the original thought, I voiced an opinion that I agreed with you. I think this appeals judge is wrong in his decision, and that this will get overturned.

If "me too" isn't protected speech, then we are screwed as a country.


Howard Johnson is right!
 
2012-05-04 08:49:22 PM

Julie Cochrane: The Jami Turman Fan Club: cmunic8r99: How could it not be speech and still be considered to hinder the harmony and effectiveness of the office?

I think the judge has a good argument that it's not protected speech. Free speech is limited in a political setting, and a Sheriff is a political position.

What are you smoking? Can I have some?

Free speech is protected the most strongly when it is about government and politics, because the core purpose of protecting free speech was to ensure citizens would always be free to criticize our government, and that government officials, elected or appointed, in any area of government whatsoever, would not have the power to silence whistleblowers and critics, not that you would be free to get a lap dance by a body-painted stripper on Turquoise Tequila Tuesdays.


Was that whole paragraph a single sentence?

Anyhow, no. If you work for the DNC, and you write an article about how Democrats suck, they can fire you for that. If you work for the Patent Office, and you write about how the Patent Office sucks, you can be fired for it. Same goes for any government agency. There are two exceptions:

1. If your job is not in any way political, and you aren't a spokesperson or other representative of the agency.
2. If you're doing it for the public good, which means your blowing the whistle on some malfeasance of your agency.

Even those exceptions are somewhat vague. #2 has been codified into law, so I suppose it doesn't matter any more whether firing them would be a 1st amendment violation. The first one was decided in a lower court but has not (to my knowledge) been determined by the Supreme Court.

However, I don't see how you can fire somebody for indicating that they're going to vote for your opponent. None of these people said anything disparaging or otherwise attacked the office. Freedom of Association should apply when it's the government.
 
2012-05-04 09:04:28 PM

ShawnDoc: GAT_00: I really need to start a list of 'ways Baby Boomers are actively trying to fark over this country.'

They're not actively trying to fark it over. They just don't know any better. Their minds developed and solidified before the advent of the Internet, and they'll never quite fully understand it. I see this with my parents all the time.

We'll likely be the same way when we reach their age. Already I see myself not understanding the music kids like these days (specifically dub step). I'm sure when I'm in my 60's, I'll be scratching my head at the Ultranet and not understanding why anyone would want to implant a mood enhancer into their spine.


If you feel better I don't really get Dub step either and I'm 20. I mean some songs are good but most are really repetitive.
 
2012-05-04 09:34:35 PM

ShawnDoc: They're not actively trying to fark it over. They just don't know any better. Their minds developed and solidified before the advent of the Internet, and they'll never quite fully understand it.


FTFY.

/not that my generation's much better, mind you
 
2012-05-04 09:35:47 PM
The holding that a FB "like" is not constitutionally protected speech is so obviously wrong that reversal on appeal seems certain. ACLU of Virginia should file an amicus brief even though the plaintiffs are LEO's.

I litigated a case in which a county employee was fired for supporting an initiative to reverse the local honcho's pet public project. They had asked a state official for advice and the state official said firing would be OK. The county folded up pretty quickly because they were wrong.
 
2012-05-04 09:54:56 PM

treesloth: CtrlAltDestroy: You've failed to show any form of logic.

lol, that's precious.


You do have a point. He did show a form of logic - bad logic.
 
2012-05-04 10:20:47 PM

CtrlAltDestroy: Being against someone because of their dangerous and oppressive actions is far different from being against someone because of their appearance or sexual orientation.


MaudlinMutantMollusk: Go ahead and hate people that never did anything to harm you and tell yourself you're not a bigot


You either completely missed CtrlAltDestroy's point, or your ignoring it because it's inconvenient. Assuming it's the former, let me break it down for you.

CtrlAltDestroy: dislikes group B, because B did X, and X caused harm. He's angry with group B because of X.

Now, you can try to argue that B never did X, or that X isn't harmful. But to say "hate people that never did anything to harm you" without even acknowledging the claim that B did X is either stupid or disingenuous.
 
2012-05-04 10:23:22 PM

ciberido: You either completely missed CtrlAltDestroy's point, or your ignoring it because it's inconvenient. Assuming it's the former, let me break it down for you.


You're, not "your". Damnit.
 
2012-05-04 11:03:55 PM

HotWingConspiracy: While public employees are allowed to speak as citizens on matters of public concern, U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson ruled that clicking the "like" button does not amount to expressive speech. In other words, it's not the same as writing out a message and posting it on the site.

What? So if they typed out "I like you" he would have ruled in favor of protection?


thats why it's a retarded ruling. Had they typed out "Like" and posted it as a comment that would be protected, but clicking a premade like button expressing the same sentiment is not.
 
2012-05-04 11:12:50 PM
Seems to me that saying "I like you" ought to be protected speech under the 1st ammendment. Just like saying "I don't like you," ought to be. I can think of no greater complement, either way to have someone say directly, I like you or I don't like you. It is an honest opinion either way it is stated. It is unambiuous. It is not mean. It uses no profanity. Being self employed, I guess I can say anything about my boss. But I guess if you work for someone else, you better not say you don't like them. While I think their first ammendment rights may have been trampled upon and the ruling will likely be overturned, I cannot help but feel their employer, faced with knowing he had employees supporting his opponent, would not help but believe said employees were bad examples of whom he would have working for him. We do not really have freedom of speech in the USA. Freedom of religion mostly. Separation of Church and State for sure. Right to peacably assemble and petition for redress of government whatever as long as you are not ciritcal of President Obama, his wife, his kids or his dog cause then by gobs, youse a racist
 
2012-05-04 11:16:56 PM

EvilEgg: Money is speech, however.


Done in two.

Wads of cash = speech.

Actually sending a note that you have an opinion about something....not so much.

P.S. Thanx Fartbongo Obamarx Hussein al-Chicago.
 
2012-05-04 11:18:39 PM

EvilEgg: Money is speech, however.


THIS.

I'm not the law-talking guy here (Eugene Volokh knows more and can write it far better than me), but to a mere simpleton, the fact that giving money to fund commercials is protected speech but clicking a mouse as a symbolic expression to express approval isn't is IN-FARKING-SANE.
 
2012-05-04 11:21:49 PM

ciberido: ciberido: You either completely missed CtrlAltDestroy's point, or your ignoring it because it's inconvenient. Assuming it's the former, let me break it down for you.

You're, not "your". Damnit.


I hate grammer nazi's. Their the worst of the internet no-it-alls.
 
2012-05-04 11:23:37 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: CtrlAltDestroy: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Yes, I am

/doesn't make me a complete idiot, though

Being old? No. The statement you made? Yes.

The people saying that the Negroes, Mexicans, gays, etc are ruining this country are doing so based on prejudice and bigotry. The people saying that the Baby Boomers are ruining this country are doing so based on the Baby Boomers own actions. False equivalency, friend. There's a huge difference between having brown skin and actively trying to remove constitutional freedoms.

So you're saying it's justifiable to paint an entire generation with the same brush? And that's somehow different from making blanket statements about any other group?

/do you honestly believe everyone in an entire generation is somehow conspiring to remove constitutional freedoms?
//that's just absurd


Oh please. The "baby boomer" generation had the exact same complaints about the generation before it.

Your generation is no less protected or exempt from the criticism of those following than your predecessors were from you.
 
2012-05-04 11:26:18 PM

Mock26: ciberido: ciberido: You either completely missed CtrlAltDestroy's point, or your ignoring it because it's inconvenient. Assuming it's the former, let me break it down for you.

You're, not "your". Damnit.

I hate grammer nazi's. Their the worst of the internet no-it-alls.


That's "knowitalls", irregardless of your intended snark, you should at least be able to conversate intelligently. Stuff like that literally makes my head explode.

/peave
 
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