Antiques Dealer's Lawsuit Over Swastika Facebook Post Raises Questions About Free Speech Online

Jun 26, 2017

Katherine Ferrier posted this photo of the swastika-printed flour sack on Facebook

The Grafton Superior Court will hear a motion to dismiss a much-publicized case involving a swastika-printed flour sack in an antiques store in Littleton, New Hampshire Tuesday. 

In November, Katherine Ferrier took a picture of the flour sack and posted it to Facebook, writing as part of a long post, "How do you think it’s okay to hang this thing here, front and center, given everything it stands for?"

The post quickly spread online and the shop's owner, Nicole Guida, ultimately closed her store.

She said she'd presented the pre-Nazi-era flour sack as a historical curiosity, not a racist symbol, and all the negative attention and hateful messages damaged her health. Guida sued Ferrier earlier this year for defamation. 

The court on Tuesday will hear a motion by Ferrier's attorney to dismiss the case, arguing that the Facebook post is a constitutionally protected form of free speech.