Duquesne Law Review


Sean P. Trende


Because of the importance of the blogosphere as an emerging medium, this Article suggests that Congress should adopt a federal statute to protect speakers from "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation," or SLAPPs. Federal anti-SLAPP legislation could serve as a powerful deterrent against groundless suits. In support of this thesis, the Article begins by exploring the growth of the internet and its recent transformation into a medium dominated by individuals. Part II analyzes the current legal framework, including a brief overview of defamation law, and contains an analysis of previous legal attempts to fit the internet into various defamation frameworks. Part III analyzes two cases as a template for understanding the unique problems that the "new" internet faces, while Part IV explores potential solutions to the problem and concludes that federal anti-SLAPP litigation would be a strong step toward the protection of First Amendment freedoms on the internet.

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