Do you have a constitutional right to Facebook? Maybe, according to the 7th Circuit. Yesterday, the appellate court struck down an Indiana law which prohibited sex offenders from joining social media sites. Citing the broad language of the ban, the court held that it was an impermissible violation of sex offenders' First Amendment rights.
Speaking of the First Amendment, earlier on Thursday, a French judge found that Europe's ban on hate speech trumps America's free speech guarantees. The suit was over whether Twitter needed to hand over the identities of people using anti-Semitic hashtags. The court answered in the affirmative and ordered Twitter to produce the information within two weeks or face fines of $1,336 per day.
Just when you think courts -- and employers -- are getting a handle on what constitutes protected speech online, social media evolves. The newest twist? Facebook's Graph Search. This application allows users to categorize people based on things they have in common, such as, whether or not they "like" racism, or who they work for -- and all of a sudden, there's a graph out there ranking employers based on who has the most employees who like racism (or some other negative attribute). It's too early to tell what employers, employees, the media, or courts will make of such an application, but it seems to be worth watching.
Technology and the Workplace
Even If It Enrages Your Boss, Social Net Speech is Protected (NY Times) (Forbes)
New App Promises to Sanitize Your Employees' Facebook Pages (LA Times) (Employer Handbook)
"Current Employers of People Who Like Racism"... and More Actual Facebook Graph Searches (The Atlantic)
Ohio Teacher Faces Review Over Picture of Duct-Taped Students (LA Times) (MStars)
Boss Gets Fired After She Busts Employees on Facebook (DE Employment Law Blog)
Technology and the Law
Facebook Ban for Sex Offenders is Overturned by 7th Circuit (ABA Journal) (NBC)
Unlocking Cellphones Becomes Illegal Saturday in the U.S. (Mashable)
French Court Orders Twitter to Identify Racist and Anti-Semitic Users (ARS Technica) (NPR)
Google Transparency Report Shows Government Snooping Up (Huffington Post)
Why Internet Imposters are Difficult to Prosecute (ABA Journal) (WSJ) (NBC)
There's an App for That
New App Points the Way Toward a Better Signal, Free Wi-Fi (NBC)
Can a Smartphone App Really Detect Skin Cancer? (Mashable)
Apps and Other Digital Tools Lend a Hand to New Mothers (NY Times)
This Cooking App Will Be Your Best Friend in the Kitchen (Mashable)
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