First Amendment doctrine is sort of obsessed with the idea of a public/private divide – the idea that we can clearly slice society up into those things that are "public" (about which we want robust discussion, so we protect that discussion with the Bill of Rights) and those that are "private" (less societally important, so less protected). It's always been a line difficult to enforce in practice – at what point is something, or someone, "public"? – but it at least makes a certain conceptual sense.
But (at the risk of turning this into a hackneyed "social media changes everything!" post), social media (maybe) changes (at least some) things. As we take more and more information that the law would traditionally see as "private," and begin publishing it online, the public/private divide is only going to get blurrier. read more »