|By Shelly Palmer||
|October 2, 2013 03:01 AM EDT||
Your Facebook “likes” carry more weight than you may think. A federal appeals court in Virginia recently ruled that “liking” something on Facebook is a form of speech and is protected by the First Amendment. The case was brought to trial after a former deputy sheriff in the state was fired for “liking” the Facebook page of a man running against his boss for city sheriff. The court ruled that “liking” the page was the equivalent of displaying a political sign on your front yard, which the Supreme Court has ruled is “substantive speech.” The Virginia court ultimately overturned a previous decision to throw the case out based on the idea that clicking “Like” on a certain page broadcasts to your Facebook friends that you support the page. As our personal lives continue to become more digitized and as we move into a Connected World, it’s a very important step to see the law recognizing and understanding our online actions, and defending them under the Constitution.