DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Opinion

January 17, 2013

First Amendments rights usually rule in Facebook cases

(Continued)

True, a few courts facing similar issues have ordered removal of social media posts. In Virginia, one court enjoined a Yelp post by a homeowner trashing a contractor when the contractor sued for defamation. In Florida, a court banished a blog defaming a mall owner.

But obtaining a court order to take down a Facebook or other post violates the doctrine of prior restraint, which generally holds that the government, by and through the judicial system, may not censor freedom of expression barring unusual exceptions.

Other measures, including money damages for clear slander or libel are felt to be better remedies and deterrents.

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Andrew Myers of Derry has law offices in Derry and North Andover. He is a member of the American Association for Justice and the New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association. Send questions to andrew@attorney-myers.com.

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