SLAPPed Around: Legal Threats To Online Free Speech

1309 5th St., NE Washington, DC 20002

June 16 , 2016

We’ve all been in a new city looking for a great restaurant, and online reviews can provide up-to-date information about where to go and where to avoid.

User reviews can be helpful, whether you are looking for a meal, job, hotel, or pet-sitting service. The list goes on and on. But the users leaving feedback are increasingly vulnerable to legal retaliation, especially if their feedback is negative. Efforts to suppress speech, such as SLAPPs (strategic lawsuits against public participation), undermine the value of review-based websites and apps, which rely on broad public participation.

What protections should our feedback receive, and what threats do reviewers currently face? Please join the Charles Koch Institute, Glassdoor, the Internet Association, and Yelp for a discussion of online free speech, user reviews, and ongoing legal threats.


Benny Johnson, creative director, Independent Journal Review


Eric Alston, senior policy and research analyst, Charles Koch Institute
Mike Godwin, director of innovation policy and general counsel, R Street Institute
Emma Llansó, director of the Free Expression Project, Center for Democracy & Technology
Shaun Martin, professor of law, University of San Diego School of Law

Event Info

Date: 16 Jun, 2016
Time: 6:30 p.m. EDT
Dock 5 at Union Market
Place: 1309 5th St., NE Washington, DC 20002

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Event Info

Emma Llansó