Social Media and the First Amendment: Is There a First Amendment Right To Facebook?
By Saad Gul and Michael E. Slipsky
The Supreme Court of the United States will shortly hand down an opinion in Packingham v. North Carolina. NC Privacy Blog has previously discussed this case, which negotiates the tension between free speech rights and the need to protect children from sex offenders.
Courts have generally recognized the compelling interest in protecting children. The restrictions in this case, however, which effectively bar offenders from accessing large sections of the Internet, including sites such as Facebook and the NY Times, are more stringent than those the Court has previously approved.
But perhaps most fundamentally, the Court is going to address the new reality of social media for the first time in a world where it has gone from an entertaining accessory to an indispensable tool of business. Does the Constitution protect the right to use social media? If so, how far does that right extend? Stay tuned.
Saad Gul and Mike Slipsky, editors of NC Privacy Law Blog, are partners with Poyner Spruill LLP. They advise clients on a wide range of privacy, data security, and cyber liability issues, including risk management plans, regulatory compliance, cloud computing implications, and breach obligations. Saad (@NC_Cyberlaw) may be reached at 919.783.1170 or email@example.com. Mike may be reached at 919.783.2851 or firstname.lastname@example.org.