Are you protected under the First Amendment when you express your opinions in an open forum like Facebook? When does freedom of speech go too far? Well, one beauty school in Illinois is testing that the limits of freedom of speech and the use of social networking sites like Facebook.
Salon Professional Academy of Elgin is suing one of its students for creating a Facebook page about the school where students could rant or vent about classes or instructors. The beauty school is suing Nicholas Blacconiere for unauthorized use of their logo and $50,000 for emotional damages caused by defamatory comments posted on the page. The lawsuit alleges that the defendents published “libel per se,” with statements that were unfounded, untrue and defamatory.
One has to wonder: can corporations or individuals start suing over Facebook posts? If so, this lawsuit could set a precedent on how students are held accountable for complaints or insults posted on the web.
What do you think? Should Nicholas Blacconiere be held legally accountable for his actions, or is this Illinois beauty school infringing upon his rights? Would the damage to Blacconiere’s reputation and future career in cosmetology be sufficient, or is paying financial damages necessary to punish him? BeautySchool.com wants to know!