Geek Feminism Wiki

SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation and is a silencing tactic which is sometimes used against women/feminists to prevent them from, or punish them for, drawing attention to sexism, harassment, or similar issues.

The term "SLAPP" is most commonly used with regard to environmental activism (eg. when activists publicise a that a company is polluting) but the same tactic is often used when people publicise harassment or sexual assault.


  • In January 2014, Open Source developer Michael Schwern sued his ex-wife for defamation, after being banned from tech events and disassociated from geek feminist endeavours subsequent to his arrest on domestic violence charges.
  • In the skeptic/atheist community, in February 2014 Ben Radford filed a defamation suit against Karen Stollznow for describing harassment she experienced (note that she did not name him, but others did in response to her post)
  • In July 2014, Canadian librarian and blogger Nina de Jesus tweeted "Fact: Yes, I'm being sued. Fact: I'm being sued for over a million dollars." in relation to this blog post about community accountability, naming "librarian and technology trend spotter" Joe Murphy as a serial harasser. In September 2014 the defendants posted an official statement.
  • In February 2015, science fiction author Amal El-Mohtar tweeted, "2 dear friends worked to oust a serial harasser from community on behalf of several women. He's suing for defamation." The incident related to sexual harassment in the Canadian poetry community, but was widely discussed in SFF and geek spaces.

See also