Floodgate effect

Law, unintended consequences

A floodgate effect occurs when you permit a small thing, which then leads to the permission of many more things.

The name comes from the way a floodgate works: if you open the gate even a little bit, water will flow in until both sides of the gate are in equilibrium. Even the tiniest permission will lead to total permission.

Examples of the floodgate effect:

As you can see from the examples, the small permission creates a precedent, which is then exploited/leveraged repeatedly, leading to a flood of such events.

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