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The Difference Between Slander, Libel, and Defamation
Slander, Libel, and Defamation What’s the Difference?
In a time when attack politics are at the forefront of media and politics, we often hear terms like slander, libel, and defamation. While the First Amendment gives us our freedom of speech, not all speech is protected. It’s more important than
ever to understand the difference between slander, libel, and defamation and know how to ensure your speech does not cross into these areas.
What is defamation?
Defamation is the all-encompassing term that describes both slander and libel. When an untrue and damaging statement, presented as fact , injures a third party’s reputation, it’s defamation of character. For example, you can’t hurt a person’s reputation by simply saying they’re annoying; however, saying they participate in illegal activities when they actually do not can be extremely damaging. It should be noted that you cannot be sued for defamation for simply stating an opinion. However, if the statement is untrue and damages the person’s reputation, whether it be written or oral, you could be sued for defamation.
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