Learning the Different Forms of Defamation: Libel VS Slander

Libel and slander are both different forms of defamatory proclamations. The main difference between libel and slander is that libel statements are written and slander is spoken. However, there are several important nuances to both. Here is everything you need to know about the differences between libel vs slander.

Understanding Defamation

With all the different forms of communication available today, defamatory statements can occur in many places. While past generations witnessed defamatory assertions mostly in print, today’s society can see them throughout the Internet.

There are countless defamatory statements made every second of every day online. These can be found in:

  • Internet blogs and/or article posts
  • In the comment sections of these posts
  • Throughout social media platforms.

Unlike printed sources, the Internet does not have a means of examining all data, comments, and reports. Defamatory statements can be made quickly and easily, just about anywhere in the world, and with just one simple click of a button. It is not difficult to find evidence of this. A simple observation through YouTube and/or Instagram can showcase countless defamatory statements. Since the rapid growth of social media platforms, it is fair to say that the ability to make defamatory statements has rapidly grown as well.

The Implications of Libel Forms of Defamatory Statements

Libel is a written form of defamatory statement. When someone has made a libel statement, this usually means that the perpetrator has printed, composed, published, or even advertised a defamatory statement. Due to the rise in social media usage, libel statements have become easier to make. Unfortunately, while many users believe that they are stating their simple opinion about another, if this statement harmed the person’s reputation, the individual who made the libel statement can be held accountable.

While many websites or social media platforms have become highly strict in what is allowable in their sites, libel comments are not something that is commonly screened for. Many sites prohibit the posting of sensitive material; however, this does not prevent the users from making defamatory comments against another individual.

While all defamatory statements can lead to a legal dilemma, it is nonetheless important to understand the libel statements are the most incriminating. Since these are written statements, they often stay posted for many to see. It serves almost as a recording, since it can be repeatedly seen for an infinite amount of time.

The Implications of Slander Forms of Defamatory Statements

Stating opinions is a common defensive tactic when someone is accused of making slanderous statements. If an individual is talking to a group of people, simply saying the phrase “I think” will not constitute an opinion. This is particularly the case if the person who was being talked about suffered damaged due to the statement. To further explain, if an individual was gossiping about a coworker and the supervisor overheard, this could affect the coworker’s reputation. This could lead to the loss of a job. It can also hinder the ability to obtain a promotion or raise.

It is a common misconception that although slander is not written, it is thereby not easily proven. This is not the case if the affected person can prove that he or she was harmed in the aftermath of such statements. Further, while such statements are not mass produced and therefore not publicly announced for countless people to hear, slander is nonetheless a strong statement that can change someone’s life.

During judicial proceedings, the statement will be heard. Other details surrounding the statement will also be brought to light. This means the credibility of the person who made the statement. If this individual has a history of lying, this could have an affect on the outcome.

Seeking Legal Assistance

If you or someone you know has been sued due to making defamatory statements, seeking a qualified attorney can assist you in fighting for your case. Similarly, if a statement about you caused you harm, an expert attorney can help you determine your next steps.

Often, what people say about one another can prove to have lasting consequences. Although many statements are often said without much thought to the consequences, it is important to remain vigilant for such circumstances. Defamatory statements can occur just about anywhere. Contact a professional attorney who can guide you through the process of a potential defamation case.