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What does it mean to publish slander?

by | Sep 15, 2021 | Defamation

If someone makes a false statement against you that causes you harm, you might be considering legal action against the defamatory party. There are different components of a slander case. One of them is whether the other party has published a slanderous comment against you.

It is important to understand the concept of “publishing” a statement of slander since it may make the difference if you seek damages in court.

Slander versus libel

First, slander is not often made as a written statement. Libel is a defamatory statement someone makes in written form like a newspaper or a magazine. Because libel is a statement that someone has written, it is easier to prove defamation. Conversely, slander is generally spoken, so it is harder to prove.

Publishing slander

According to FindLaw, you need someone else to verify that someone has spoken a slander about you. It may be easy if the defaming party slandered you in front of multiple persons. However, sometimes an individual will just say something false and harmful to a few people, though it can still have negative effects on you.

The courts will consider slander “published” in a few different ways. When somebody has heard a statement and comprehends its defamatory meaning, courts may consider the statement published. Slander may also qualify as published if someone posts it on social media.

The importance of witnesses

The need for a third party to overhear slander makes gathering witnesses to the slander important. Your witnesses can verify the existence of the defamation against you. If your slander case involves social media, your case may benefit from screenshots of the slanderous posts. How you proceed will depend on the particular nature of your case.

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