Chilling effect (term)


Chilling effect (term)

A chilling effect is a term in law and communication which describes a situation where speech or conduct is suppressed by fear of penalization at the interests of an individual or group. It may prompt self-censorship and therefore hamper free speech. Since many attacks rely on libel law, the term libel chill is also often used.Fact|date=June 2008

Usage

In United States and Canadian law, the term "chilling effects" refers to the stifling attribute that vague or overbroad laws may have on legitimate speech activity. Recognition of a law that may permit a loophole for such "chilling effect" as a vehicle for political libel or vexation litigation provides a prompt to allow changes to such defamation laws, and therefore prevent the suppression of free speech and censorship.Fact|date=June 2008

History

The term chilling effect had been in use in the United States since as early as 1950. [cite web
url= http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/vanlr4&id=547&collection=journals
title= 4 Vanderbilt Law Review 533, at 539 (1950-1951): The Supreme Court and Civil Liberties
accessdate=
last= Freund
first= Paul A.
date=
publisher=
pages=
archiveurl=
archivedate=
quote=
] It however became further used as a legal term when William J. Brennan, a justice of the United States Supreme court, used it in a judicial decision ("Lamont v. Postmaster General") which required a postal patron receiving "communist political propaganda" [cite web
url= http://www.cfif.org/htdocs/freedomline/current/guest_commentary/saffire-shield-law.htm
title= Safire Urges Federal Journalist Shield Law
accessdate= 2008-06-18
last= Safire
first= William
authorlink=
coauthors=
date= 2005-07-20
publisher= Center For Individual Freedom
archiveurl=
archivedate=
quote= Justice Brennan reported having written a 1965 decision striking down a state’s intrusion on civil liberty because of its “chilling effect upon the exercise of First Amendment rights…”
] to specifically authorize the delivery.cite web
url= http://supreme.justia.com/us/381/301/
title= LAMONT V. POSTMASTER GENERAL, 381 U. S. 301 (1965)
accessdate= 2008-06-18
publisher= Justia
archiveurl=
archivedate=
quote=
]

The "Lamont" case however, did not center around a law that explicitly stifles free speech. A "chilling effect" referred to at the time a "deterrent effect" on freedom of expression — even when there is no law explicitly prohibiting it. However in general, "chilling effect" is now often used in reference to laws or actions that do not explicitly prohibit legitimate speech, but that impose undue burdens.

See also

*Censorship
*Chilling Effects
*Culture of fear
*Fear mongering
*Legal terrorism
*Media transparency
*Prior restraint
*RIAA
*Strategic lawsuit against public participation ("SLAPP")

References

Notes

External links

* [http://www.chillingeffects.org Chilling Effects Clearinghouse] , containing many current examples of alleged chilling effects
* [http://www.hfac.uh.edu/comm/media_libel/libel/definition.html Terms associated with libel cases]
* [http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-270.html Cato Policy Analysis No. 270] Chilling The Internet? Lessons from FCC Regulation of Radio Broadcasting


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chilling effect (law) — For other uses, see Chilling effect (disambiguation). Part of a series on Censorship …   Wikipedia

  • effect — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun 1 change that is caused by sth ADJECTIVE ▪ decisive, dramatic, far reaching, important, marked, powerful, profound, pronounced, significant …   Collocations dictionary

  • Chilling requirement — Chilling unit redirects here. For the machines, see Chiller and Water chiller. The chilling requirement of a fruit is the minimum period of cold weather after which a fruit bearing tree will blossom. It is often expressed in chill hours, which… …   Wikipedia

  • Streisand effect — The Streisand effect is a phenomenon on the Internet where an attempt to censor or remove a piece of information backfires, causing the information to be widely publicized. Examples are attempts to censor a photograph, a number, a file, or even a …   Wikipedia

  • Freedom of the press — The freedom of the press redirects here. For George Orwell s preface, see Animal Farm# The Freedom of the Press . For the report by Freedom House, see Freedom of the Press (report). Journalism News  …   Wikipedia

  • Jingjing and Chacha — (a pun on the Chinese word for police, zh cp|c=警察|p=jǐngchá) are the cartoon mascots of the Internet Surveillance Division of the Public Security Bureau in Shenzhen, China. Debuting on January 22, 2006, they are used to, amongst other things,… …   Wikipedia

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

  • Agriculture and Food Supplies — ▪ 2007 Introduction Bird flu reached Europe and Africa, and concerns over BSE continued to disrupt trade in beef. An international vault for seeds was under construction on an Arctic island. Stocks of important food fish species were reported… …   Universalium

  • Nonviolent video game — Part of a series on …   Wikipedia

  • USA PATRIOT Act — Full title Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 Acronym USA PATRIOT Act, also Patriot Act Enacted by the 107th United States Congress …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.