Browse Definitions :
Definition

SLAPP

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A SLAPP suit is a legal action undertaken or threatened to make the target stop any public activities in opposition to the interests of the person or organization bringing the suit. The acronym stands for Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation, also seen as Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.

A SLAPP is a type of frivolous lawsuit, not undertaken to be won, necessarily, but to intimidate the target into ceasing activities such as speaking out against an organization or petitioning the government to protect the public from its practices. The defendant may be an individual or an organization. Environmental, human rights, privacy and social justice activist organizations are frequent targets of SLAPP suits. Typically, the target has done nothing but exercise legal rights such as free speech and peaceful assembly. In the United States, these rights and others are enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Because SLAPPs can be expensive to defend, many targets agree to stop speaking out, apologize to the organization and/or publicly state that their earlier statements were in error. SLAPPs also tend to intimidate uninvolved third parties who are afraid of being similarly targeted. That phenomenon, known as the chilling effect, means that the threat of a lawsuit against one individual or group can significantly dampen the general public’s criticism of an organization’s practices.  

To protect citizens from being targeted with these baseless lawsuits, some jurisdictions have enacted anti-SLAPP legislation.

Robert Reich explains the threat to society in SLAPP suits:

This was last updated in September 2018

Continue Reading About SLAPP

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • Web application firewall (WAF)

    A web application firewall (WAF) is a firewall that monitors, filters and blocks data packets as they travel to and from a ...

  • spyware

    Spyware is a type of malicious software -- or malware -- that is installed on a computing device without the end user's knowledge.

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of specifying an index of approved software applications or executable files that are ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

SearchStorage

  • DRAM (dynamic random access memory)

    Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is a type of semiconductor memory that is typically used for the data or program code needed ...

  • RAID 10 (RAID 1+0)

    RAID 10, also known as RAID 1+0, is a RAID configuration that combines disk mirroring and disk striping to protect data.

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

Close