Thursday, May 10, 2012

Social Network Like Button Causes Firing in the Work Place: Where is this Society Coming To?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/us/clicking-like-on-facebook-is-not-protected-speech-judge-rules.html
Read this before you read my article.  6 people were fired by a Sheriff for liking the page of his political opposition.  Is that Constitutional?
        The First Amendment to the United Constitution gives us 5 basic rights that truly make us a "free" country.  While preserving the ideas of free speech, free religious practice, freedom to petition the government, freedom to assemble peacefully, and the freedom to press our founding fathers had a great vision of what freedom truly is. Our Founding Father's though, never invisioned that society as a whole would completely change since this document was ratified.  Facebook and other social networks that have come to existence because of the implementation of the internet and computer technology to our ever changing society.  Now we must worry about what we say, or "Like" on the Book.  This sheriff subsequently fired some of his employees because they "Liked" the page of his political opposition.  His excuse was that by his employees "liking" the page, that caused a conflict within the work place.  Instead of trying his best to inquire on why they liked the page, he fired them.  Maybe instead of being a paranoid incumbent, you should look at your actions as Sheriff and as their boss and wonder if you gave them a reason to "Like" the page of the opponent.  Regardless of that issue, you have no power or right to fire someone over their political beliefs.  It is the right of any American citizen to have freedom of speech even if that is through the use of their "like" button on Facebook.  On top of that, it is their right as a tax-paying citizen to petition the government or any government official in whatever way they'd like as long as it does not invoke violence of some sort, and i think the clicking of a button is not a reason for concern. 

  The controversy over this issue shall and will not be the end of the road over what you say, click, or act upon on the internet.  Don't we law abiding citizens deserve to have privacy in the physical and virtual world?  The actions of this Virginia Sheriff, in my opinion, are completely unconstitutional on so many levels, but things like this happen all the time without this kind of publicity.  Even though i'll always cherish the right to freedom of speech, it is cause for concern for people who will think twice before they do things on the internet because of the threat of losing their job, and it should not have to be like that.  Being an optimist though, I try to look on the bright side, and say I'm glad this was brought to court and to public light all across the nation because the decision from this case will directly effect the nature of law making into the future concerning your constitutional rights on the internet.

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