Think twice before you hit that Facebook “like” button. Apparently, a spur of the moment click can land you in hot water if you’re caught “liking” something that your boss or peers feel is inappropriate. This could be just the tip of the social sharing iceberg of the future.
Is “Liking” something free speech? This is the question being discussed in a US court, after six employees of the Hampton, Virginia sheriffs department were fired, allegedly in retaliation for “Liking” the sheriff’s opponent on Facebook.
In Australia, a politician was pilloried over liking was he saw as a harmless picture. He claims it escaped his attention that there was a 16 year old boy exposing his genitals in the picture. The question remains, what EXACTLY did he like about the picture when he clicked. We’ll never really know will we?
As the Quartz story points out – what does “liking” really mean anyway?
“Liking” something on Facebook tends to suggest some positive feelings for it. Beyond that, the emotions are unclear. Does “liking” mean you support the opinion expressed in a Facebook update? Does it mean that you appreciate a user’s right to express an opinion or start a conversation, even if you disagree? Is it meant as a “thank you”? Or maybe you were just clicking or scrolling around your news feed and you happened to click “like” on an update by accident.
And even if you realize you’ve mistakenly liked something, you can’t undo it. You have to live with the unintended consequences. Yikes!
Image: By Poster Boy NYC CC BY 2.0