Libel and Slander

Guide to Libel and Slander for Businesses

Libel and Slander claim no matter how small can have a devastating effect on businesses. In extreme cases, it can even damage a brand’s reputation to the point where it can no longer continue its operations. Both Libel and Slander come under Defamation; therefore, it is easy to confuse the two. Libel refers to written or visual defamation, while Slander refers to oral defamation. Written or Oral, the purpose is the same – a false statement or claim about an individual or organization intended to harm their reputation. In the past, the most common methods of publishing Libel were newspapers, books, magazines, etc. However, nowadays, social media and Twitter handles are often used for this purpose.

A defamation claim can be either about criminal conduct, disease, sexual misconduct, or about an individual’s lawful business or profession. Libel is more likely to cause permanent damage to an individual or an organization when compared to Slander. Therefore, it is easier to take a course of action for libel in court when compared to defamatory statements. If you know of the slander or libel claims against you or your business, you can do something about it. The first step to take is to calculate your damages. It is important to note that in case of slanderous remarks made towards your business, you are not required to show any special damages incurred. In many cases, you might discover that your business has not incurred any damages due to the slander or libel claims. People might not have read or paid much attention to the said defamation claim. In such cases, it is best to avoid seeking legal measures in order to avoid drawing more public attention to the matter. It is also important to keep in mind that any legal action can be very expensive, so careful consideration should be given to whether or not it is worth seeking legal action. However, if you have determined that it is worth taking legal action considering your damages, you must take legal action within one year of the said defamatory statement.

legal action

In situations where you are angry or have a disagreement with someone, you could be tempted to behave in ways that are not socially acceptable. Social media is ever-present in our lives, and therefore it could be hard not to make any claims that could ruin someone else’s reputation in the heat of the moment. Such behavior can inevitably land you in trouble; therefore, it is best to remain calm and not act impulsively. Of course, this is easier said than done. When you are in situations where your patience is tested, consider physically moving from the environment or putting some time between the conversations. This strategy will force you to introspect your thoughts and emotions about the situation, thus, helping you to react calmer with dignity.

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