Social Media Law Suits

Let’s face it, 10 years ago we weren’t anticipating law suits that revolved around Facebook, Myspace, and Youtube. In fact, 10 years ago the appropriate answer would have been, “Facebook, huh?”

Today I read an article about a former high school student who is suing her former principal (she in now in college) for suspending her after creating a page or group or something about how bad one of her teachers was. She basically wants the suspension taken off her record.

The defense for the girl is claiming that her first amendment right to

free and unfettered exchange of ideas and opinions in the public arena

was violated, discounted, neglected, however you want to say it.

This doesn’t sound like the big case coming, but eventually there will be a supreme court ruling that is going to decide how free your speech is in the online social playground. One day, a case like this will be the

straw that breaks the camels back

So, it poses a decent question: What can and can’t you say on Facebook, Youtube, Myspace, etc.? Obviously, we don’t want to talk about things that are already illegal like slander, but can you make a group about a teacher you don’t like? Ignore the feeling bad for the teacher part and just think about the question. We already have ratemyprofessors.com, how is that any different? Do we have to go to that persons facebook and read what they have to say? Do you have to come to my blog and read what I have to say? Can your boss, or potential boss, make a decision to fire or hire you based on what they see on website about your social life?

These are all important questions and I am curious to see how the rulings begin to pan out as the technology and interaction of culture continues to move forward and change.

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3 thoughts on “Social Media Law Suits

  1. I was sort of hoping the Santeaux report would have something to say. That conservative piece of work always stirs the pot.

    (see what I did there? See it? I put all the pressure on you to come up with something witty, and conservative…uh huh)

  2. I’m sure he’ll chime in later. Here’s an excellent post though. This is similar to another case… You remember Bong Hits 4 Jesus? It was a kid in Alaska who unfurled a banner with the aforementioned slogan while on a class trip. He was suspended and he sued. It went all the way to the Supreme Court who eventually decided that the kid was under the supervision of the school since it was a school sponsored event though it was not on school grounds. (Good). Later, for reasons beyond me, the state settled some other matters with him in state court and the kid won $45k to settle all the remaining claims. (Lame).

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