Title

Negative Comments Online: SLAPPing the First Amendment in the USA

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 2011

Keywords

Keywords Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, SLAPP, freedom of speech, Anti-SLAPP, cyberSLAPP, First Amendment, anonymity, internet posts, USA, management, decision making, negative comments

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/ijmdm.2011.043405

Abstract

Corporations that encounter what they consider harmful criticism posted on the internet have resorted to lawsuits against the posters, or where the posters are anonymous, have tried to obtain subpoenas to learn the identities of the posters. State legislatures and courts have taken a dim view of the tactic, terming it as designed to strangle public participation and in violation of the First Amendment protection of speech in the United States Constitution. Many states have passed statutes to combat the so-called ‘Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation’ (SLAPP) and there is a move to introduce federal legislation in this area. This paper examines the development of SLAPPs and their relation to First Amendment jurisprudence, from a non-corporate viewpoint. It also discusses corporate attempts to pierce the anonymity veil on the internet and the corresponding legal responses.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

true

Citation / Publisher Attribution

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, v. 11, no. 5/6, p. 301-311.