Michigan Radio: In trouble at school for social media posts? Now you can get legal help online

Michigan Radio: In trouble at school for social media posts? Now you can get legal help online. “Over the last eight years, [Nancy] Costello says she and her law students have responded to these cases by creating some 200 legal memos, ranging from copyright law (what if a student wants to use a Beyonce song in their class presentation?) to student journalism to libel suits. Yet the student questions kept coming. ‘I thought, this is just a microcosm of the rest of the country,’ Costello says. ‘So we decided to launch this national website.’ It’s called the McLellan Online Free Speech Library.”

Court: Politicians who block citizens on social media violate 1st Amendment (Ars Technica)

Ars Technica: Court: Politicians who block citizens on social media violate 1st Amendment. “A federal appeals court in Virginia ruled unanimously Monday that a county official who blocked a citizen from accessing her official Facebook page is in violation of the First Amendment.”

Route Fifty: A California Court Finds Social Media Posts Aren’t a First Amendment Right

Route Fifty: A California Court Finds Social Media Posts Aren’t a First Amendment Right. “Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Packingham v. North Carolina that social media platforms are the new ‘public square,’ and access to them is protected by the First Amendment, which guarantees free speech. But that doesn’t necessarily mean there are no limitations on how social media can be used when an ex-convict is on probation. For example, a California state appeals court just found in AA v. The People that a ‘narrowly tailored’ limit on social media use for a juvenile on probation—in this case for a felony offense—was legal for rehabilitation purposes and to protect a crime victim.”

Quartz: US courts are figuring out if the government can block you on Facebook

Quartz: US courts are figuring out if the government can block you on Facebook. “In the last two years, there’s been a cascade of lawsuits in the US against public officials who have blocked people on social media and deleted critical comments. The list starts with the highest one in the country, president Donald Trump, and goes all the way down to a county board chair. As officials use social platforms more and more to communicate with their constituents, bypassing traditional media channels, the question of how they treat these avenues is becoming increasingly important.”

Brookings Institute: Regulating free speech on social media is dangerous and futile

Brookings Institute: Regulating free speech on social media is dangerous and futile. “The calls for regulating social media and technology companies are politically motivated. Conservatives who support these policies argue that their freedom of speech is being undermined by social media companies who censor their voice. Conservatives who celebrate constitutional originalism should remember that the First Amendment protects against censorship by government. Social media companies are all private businesses with discretion over the content they wish to promote, and any effort by government to influence what social media platforms promote risks violating the First Amendment.”

Columbia Journalism Review: Press protections might safeguard Google’s algorithms, even from Trump

Columbia Journalism Review: Press protections might safeguard Google’s algorithms, even from Trump. “Regulating algorithms might seem like entirely new legal territory, since Google and its cousins are only two decades old. But a newspaper case from 1974 has quite a bit to say about whether the government can control, under the First Amendment, companies’ algorithms and how they produce and organize information.”

Daily Collegian: Lawsuit settled over Maryland governor’s Facebook page

Daily Collegian: Lawsuit settled over Maryland governor’s Facebook page. “Maryland’s governor must be more permissive of social media commenters who disagree with him under a settlement to resolve a lawsuit that accused him of censoring constituents by blocking them on Facebook, the American Civil Liberties Union said Monday. The settlement includes a $65,000 payment to the four plaintiffs and a revised social media policy for Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s social media accounts.”