Talk:SLAPP's in Australia

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I am dubious about my own d--Bob Burton 05:23, 7 Jun 2006 (EDT)efinition of litigation against public participation, particularly the inclusion of suits against the media. On the one hand the commercial media is big enough to look after itself and defamation suits against them do not usually intimidate ordinary citizens. On the other hand, a free media is a necessary function of democracy and if the media is sued for reporting opinions in public debate they may cease reporting those opinions and the spokespeople being reported may alsoo take heed - thus silencing public debate. What do you think?

Hi Bush Lawyer,

I would agree with your general point that the media are big enough to look after themselves and that the common use of SLAPPs is lawsuits against citizens/activists/activist groups.

However, there are two other considerations:

a) context : if a lawsuit against a media outlet is one of a number by the same company/agency then it is worth including so readers can get the picture of the scope of legal actions;

b) the chilling effect: a common discussion in SLAPPs is about the chilliing effect of a lawsuit. Sometimes the lawsuit is against a media outlet because they were the conduit for either views expressed by activist groups or took up an issue originated by activist groups. While the primary target of the lawsuit might be a media outlet, the secondary effect is often to dampen media coverage on that issue and spook editors and journalists into marginalising activist groups.

So I'm inclined to allow a little wiggle room. I'm inclined to leave them in unless others raise concerns. --Bob Burton 05:23, 7 Jun 2006 (EDT)

Removed this link

I'm not sure this could be classed as a SLAPP even on a broad interpratation of the term. --Bob Burton 07:17, 14 March 2007 (EDT)