Facebook is no stranger to legal battles–with other companies, foreign governments and even its own users. That’s what happened this month when a woman filed a civil suit against the company for $1 million, alleging it infringed on her First Amendment rights by deleting her comments.
The woman, Amanda Kaye Phillips, is defending herself in the suit, and says she will donate the money to a no-kill animal shelter if she wins the case. Phillips cites seven instances when her comments were deleted by page administrators on the site, and an instance when Facebook banned her for three days for telling an Asian woman that she looked like the “dog eating kind” after the Asian woman posted in a PETA comments section.
Obviously her case is a long shot, and Phillips doesn’t fit the profile of a good candidate to take on Facebook. Still, her case raises interesting questions about what kind of power the site should have.
“Facebook obviously was not around during the time the Constitution was written,” Phillips wrote in her suit. “And Facebook increasingly has a duty to maintain free speech rights by removing the right to delete other people’s comments.”
Even if Phillips’ suit goes nowhere, it’s still a good thing to bring cases like this against Facebook and set a legal precedent for its actions the future.
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