Code of silence

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For the 1986 Billy Joel song, see The Bridge (Billy Joel album). For the 1985 film, see Code of Silence (film).

A code of silence is a condition in effect when a person opts to withhold what is believed to be vital or important information voluntarily or involuntarily.

The code of silence is usually either kept because of threat of force, or danger to oneself, or being branded as a traitor or an outcast within the unit or organization as the experiences of the police whistleblower, Frank Serpico illustrates. Police are known to have a well-developed Blue Code of Silence. The code of silence was famously practiced in Irish-American neighborhoods in Boston, Massachusetts such as Charlestown, South Boston, and Somerville.

A more famous example of the code of silence is Omertà (Italian: omertà, from the Latin: humilitas=humility or modesty), the Mafia code of silence.

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