Political Satire Is Protected Speech – Even If You Don’t Get the Joke

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Should an obviously fake Facebook post—one made as political satire—end with a lawsuit and a bill to pay for a police response to the post? Of course not, and that’s why EFF filed an amicus brief in Lafayette City v. John Merrifield.

In this case, Merrifield made an obviously fake Facebook event satirizing right-wing hysteria about Antifa. The announcement specifically poked fun at the well-established genre of fake Antifa social media activity, used by some to drum up anti-Antifa sentiment. However, the mayor of Lafayette didn’t get the joke, and now Lafayette City officials want Merrifield to pay for the costs of policing the fake event.

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