What Does SLAPP Mean?

SLAPP means "Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation."

SLAPPs are lawsuits alleging defamation that are brought for the purpose of silencing, intimidating, or harassing critics for speaking out, usually on matters of public interest. Rather than going to court to seek justice, SLAPP filers seek to drain the target's financial resources and their motivation to continue.

The term SLAPP was coined by Professors George W. Pring and Penelope Canan in their book SLAPPs: Getting Sued for Speaking Out (1996).

SLAPPs are effective because even a meritless lawsuit may cost a lot of money to defend and could drag on for years. A number of countries and US states already have anti-SLAPP laws in place, to prevent such abuse of the judicial process. In the EU and UK anti-SLAP legislation is close to being approved.

Check out the Public Participation Project's website for examples of SLAPPs and anti-SLAPP rulings.

Image for SLAPP

When I write SLAPP, I mean this: meaning of SLAPP SLAPPs are brought to silence, intimidate, or harass critics.

Summary of Key Points

"Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation" is the most common definition for SLAPP on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation
4: Difficult to guess
Typical Users:


An Academic Look at SLAPP

SLAAP is an acronym (i.e., an abbreviation spoken like a word).

Acronyms differ from initialism abbreviations, which are pronounced using their individual letters (e.g., ILY (I Love You), PFP (Picture For Proof).

Example of SLAPP Used in a Text


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