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Facebook: Taking Out the Free in Free Expression

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1 Response

  1. Confused 2(now 3)L says:

    This raises the question of what exactly does “free” in this context mean. I’ve always thought that freedom of expression is solely intended to mean freedom from restraint and Governmental sanction. Putting aside for the moment the argument over whether the government acting as employer is equivalent to the Government acting as the agent of The People, I don’t think that freedom of expression was ever intended, or should be currently understood, to mean that one is protected from any repercussions arising from ones actions, when those actions are the decision to speak.

    How is the decision of the insurance company different from a decision to terminate benefits based on a contrary physicians report? Or the hiring of an private investigator to look into claims that a person with a physical injury but who is playing beer-league softball? Granted depression is a much more complicated concern, it expresses inconsistently and in ways that aren’t obvious to an outside observer, but that means at worst the evidence relied on by the insurer was insufficient, not that they were wrong to look into the public actions of the claimant.

    Were the insurers actions invasive, yes. As would be the requirement to see an outside doctor, as would be interviewing associates of the claimant to verify the claim, as would be a number of other activities that the law and most people would acknowledge the insurer has the right to do.

    On the other hand, none of this should imply that I disagree with the viewpoint that the law needs to be brought into agreement with changing technology and modern requirements and beliefs.

    JMS