NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) — Three months after a federal judge in Virginia ruled clicking â€ślikeâ€ť on
Facebook is not protected free speech, the social network is appealing the decision.
The decision came in May, nearly three years after six employees of the
Hampton, Virgina Sheriff's Department claimed they were fired for â€ślikingâ€ť the Facebook page of an opponent during the sheriff's re-election bid in 2009.
Now, Facebook and the
American Civil Liberties Union want a federal appeals court to vacate the decision, saying that â€ślikingâ€ť a page on Facebook should be protected free speech. Critics of the ruling say that those fired were just public employees making a political statement, and those who 22News spoke with say they should get their jobs back.
â€śI mean, I don't honestly understand how those people who were fired were monitored by people for their Facebook pages,â€ť Alex Salazar-Greenstein of Florence said.
â€śIt seems a little extreme to me,â€ť said John Ciaverella of Florence, â€śbecause it's a definite infringement on someone's personal liberties. I mean there was a reason they were warned at work not to use Facebook.â€ť
Hampton Sheriff B.J. Roberts says some of workers were fired because he wanted to replace them with sworn deputies, while others "hindered the harmony and efficiency of the office."
Attorneys for Facebook say clicking â€ślikeâ€ť on a page is the "21st century equivalent of having a campaign yard sign."
Copyright 2013 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Did you like this article? Vote it up or down! And don't forget to add your comments below!