Category: libel, slander and defamation

Can You Say What You Like?

The Law, Libel, Slander and Defamation of Character.

  • If you say something about someone then it’s slander.
  • If you write something about someone and published about someone then it’s libel. – PERMANENT FORM.
  • Signs, gestures, photographs, statues and cartoons etc. can also rise to a claim of defamation.

Defamation is anything that is putting harm to others in any way.

Defamation can be spoken or printed words which accuse the claimant of committing a crime, saying they have a contagious disease or being unfit for their job.

An individual is defamed when a person publishes to a third party words or matter that contains an untrue allegation against his or her reputation.

If you tell somebody something defamatory about someone else then they could sue you for defamation if he/she could prove that he/she was damaged as a result of your statement.

Ethics – Morals – what’s right and what’s wrong.

It is not a crime to pay a subject for an interview, but it is generally considered unethical.

An opinion cannot be an act of defamation. It must be a statement of fact.

“I think that Fred’s a jerk.” This is an opinion so nothing can be said about it. But “Fred stole $1,000 from his boss.” is a statement of fact. If that statement isn’t true, it is defamatory. That is a false statement that can cause injury to Joe. It could get him fired. By saying ‘I think’ proves that they don’t know the truth but they are warning others that he may have stolen the money and that he wants people to check it out.

In order for a statement to be defamatory, it must have been made to a 3rd party. A person can’t be defamed by a statement that is said or written to yourself.