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Dean Lidsky Cited in Federal Appellate Court Decision on Public Official’s Facebook Page

January 10th, 2019

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit unanimously ruled that Loudon County (Va.) Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall’s Facebook page operated as a public forum and that her decision to block Brian C. Davison from her page based on his criticism of her qualified as impermissible and unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. The decision cited Dean Lyrissa Lidsky’s article, “Public Forum 2.0,” 91 B.U. L. Rev. 1975 (2011) regarding the status of social media as public forums for First Amendment purposes: “Just as the government can rent a building to use as a forum for public debate and discussion, so, too, can it ‘rent’ a social media page for the promotion of public discussion.”

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