You hear it all the time in movies and media. Some celebrity is suing a media outlet or even another celebrity for slandering their name and taking them to court.
Then there is the word libel which is often used instead of or exchanged with slander. The libel vs slander concept can be tricky, but it is important to know the difference.
If you are often confused about the similarities and differences between slander and libel, here is a quick guide to understanding the differences and how they apply in the court of law.
Libel Vs Slander
The first thing to understand is that the two are quite similar. They both also fall under Defamation Law, for which you can hire a personal injury lawyer to handle your case.
Defamation involves someone or an entity such as tabloids, media outlets, etc. causing harm to your public reputation or your livelihood through malicious words that are most likely false.
This means what they’ve said about you has adversely affected your professional relationships or may have even caused you to have lost business opportunities or your job.
However, libel and slander carry two different meanings and ways you can prove them in court.
What is Libel?
Libel is printed or written defamatory statements. so often when a celebrity sues a media outlet for defamation, it’s because they published an article or expose that was libelous.
But this can also include places like blogs and social media like Twitter and Instagram, as well as online chatrooms and forums.
Usually with media outlets, unless the article is directly about an individual, it is difficult to prove libel because editors are mostly careful to avoid lawsuits of their company and will thus edit out anything that can be remotely used as evidence against them in court.
What is Slander?
If libel is written, then slander is simply when someone openly says defamatory information against an individual.
An example of this would be if you told your business associates about a co-worker who frequented the same circle that this person did cocaine one time on company property.
If this is, in fact, a false statement, it is considered slanderous because this false information could find its way to the ears of your boss who would be then compelled to fire this co-worker for drug use per company policy.
Proving slander in court can prove difficult though, as it works as a hearsay situation with no real proof that the individual actually said it without witnesses to the act as the plaintiff was probably not present when the slander was said.
Handling Defamation Effectively
Whether it’s libel vs slander or both, you don’t deserve to have your name and reputation belittled and your livelihood jeopardized because of false information.
Knowing the difference can help you understand your legal options when encountering them in real-world situations. Don’t let them slander or libel your name.
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