What is defamation?

Defamation is a statement that gives a negative impression of a person, company, group, product, government, or country. The statement is made as though it were true, when in fact, it is false. Defamation can be slander, which is made with spoken words, sounds, sign language, or gestures. Defamation in any other form, like in printed words or pictures, is libel.

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What is slander?

Slander is a spoken defamation. Defamation or defamation of character is spoken or written words that falsely and negatively reflect on a living person’s reputation.

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Are insults and epithets considered defamation under the law?

Insults and epithets are usually not considered to be defamation because they are emotional outbursts and the intent of the person is to show displeasure or dislike. They are not normally meant to harm the person to whom they are directed, so would not generally meet the criteria required under the law for a defamation suit.

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What is libel?

Libel is defined as the defamation of a person, business, group, product, government, or nation that is made in written or printed words or pictures.

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Defamation of Character in the Internet Age

In the past, defamation suits were largely brought against the media. However, with the advent of the internet and the widespread consumer use of personal webpages and blogs, anybody who posts a false statement about another person may now be subject to a defamation suit. This article explains defamation law and its application to internet users.

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