||[Aug. 20th, 2001|08:41 pm]
The Veritable TechNinja
WHAT IS "DEFAMATION"?|
Defamation, sometimes called "defamation of character", is spoken or written words that falsely and negatively reflect on a living person's reputation.
If a person or the news media says or writes something about you that is understood to lower your reputation, or that keeps people from associating with you, defamation has occurred. Slander and libel are two forms of defamation.
WHAT IS "SLANDER"?
Slander is a spoken defamation.
WHAT IS "LIBEL"?
Libel is a written defamation. Generally, radio and television broadcasts that are defamatory are considered to be libel, rather than slander.
CAN I SUE SOMEONE WHO SAYS OR WRITES SOMETHING DEFAMATORY ABOUT ME?
In order to prove defamation, you have to be able to prove that what was said or written about you was false. If the information is true, or if you consented to publication of the material, you will not have a case. However, you may bring an defamatory action if the comments are so reprehensible and false that they effect your reputation in the community or cast aspersions on you.
WHAT ABOUT INSULTS AND EPITHETS? ARE THEY DEFAMATORY?
Generally, no. Usually they are seen as outbursts of emotion, with no real substance, except to show intense dislike.
DON'T I HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPRESS MY OPINION?
Yes, so long as your statement of opinion is just an opinion, not containing specific facts that can be proved untrue.
ARE THERE DEFENSES TO DEFAMATION?
Establishing the truth is the single most effective defense that can be offered. If the remark is truthful and it "hurts", is embarrassing, or subjects you to ridicule, there is little you can do. Unfortunately, unless the remark is false, you have no recourse.