Written Defamatory Remarks Are Referred to As…
Defamation occurs when a person publishes false derogatory statements to a third party without privilege, greatly harming and damaging another person’s reputation or entity. Defamation is illegal, and anyone who is facing defamation has the right to file a defamation lawsuit, or draft a cease and desist order to the perpetrator.
Defamation that is written in writing is called libel. This article will go into more detail about defamation, libel, and what you can do as a victim of defamation. We’ll also go over a way to send a cease and desist letter using DoNotPay!
What Constitutes As Defamation?
For a statement to classify as defamatory, it must be:
- A false statement, the truth is a viable defense for a defamation claim
- The statement must be communicated to a third party
- The person who published the statement had malice intent
- The person who published the statement did so without privilege, and with negligence to its truthfulness – such that he or she knew it was false or were negligent to question its truthfulness, but still published it
- It must have caused serious harm to the person it is about
Different Dorms of Defamation: Libel and Slander
|Recorded or written defamatory remarks are referred to as libel.||Spoken defamatory remarks are referred to as slander.|
|Libel leaves a permeant record.||Slander is temporary and does not leave a record.|
|Libel is commonly found on social media, television, radio, letters, books, magazines, and newspapers.||Slander mostly takes its form in gossip, face-to-face conversations, phone calls, and podcasts.|
It is important to note that the law treats slander differently from libel. With slander you have to show financial loss to get compensation, unless the remarks:
- Accuse you of a crime to someone other than the police.
- Accuse of having a loathsome disease.
- Accuses you of incompetency in your profession
- Accuse you of adultery or unchastity
Libel is more often met with more severe consequences, seeing as it leaves a permanent record. Courts across the world take libel more seriously, and in the case of seditious libel, which is a written defamatory remark about the president, government, or Congress, the defendant faces imprisonment and jail time, two punishments which do not occur in the case of slander.
What To Do If You Are A Victim of Defamation
If someone defames you, you can sue that person for financial damages and for harming your reputation. You can also seek monetary compensation for your economic losses. There are three things to prove when showing that someone defamed you:
- You must show that the statement or remark is in fact false
- You must show that the comments caused serious harm to your reputation or ability to work
- The person had malice intent, in which they meant to publish this false statement about you
- It was communicated by the defendant to at least one person other than you, such that a third party is involved
- Lastly, you must prove that the person said it without privilege
It is important to know that the law aims only to protect your reputation, not your feelings. If the comment made was insulting to you or embarrassing, but did not cause any harm to your reputation, then it would be difficult to prove defamation. However, if someone calls you a thief or cheater when you are not, then that will be considered defamation.
Aside from filing a lawsuit, a victim of defamation can file a cease and desist order. This will warn the person publishing defamatory statements that if they do not revoke all remarks, then you will take them to court to seek monetary damages.
How to Defend Yourself Against Defamation Accusations
To protect yourself from defamation accusations, you must use your right to freedom of expression. The following cases can prove your innocence against claims of defamation:
- If the statement you made was true or is a fact, then that is a complete defense to an action for defamation.
- Absolute Privilege: this defense protects defamatory statements made in judicial proceedings, criminal cases, parliament and civil lawsuits. However, it does not protect a person who repeats the statement outside of the court.
- Qualified Privilege: a defamatory statement made in a line of duty can be protected by qualified privilege
- Fair Comment: everyone is free to comment, as long as the comment is expressed as an opinion, not made maliciously and based on facts that can be proven
- Communication on Matters of Public Interest: statements based on matters of public interest are not considered defamatory, these matters include urgent and serious news of public interest, and as long as it is based on reliable sources.
Let DoNotPay Help You If You Are A Victim of Defamation
DoNotPay is a reliable service that can draft a cease and desist letter in accurate details in order to stop the spread of defamatory cases with laws applicable to your state. Here’s how to begin:
1. Search “defamation” on the DoNotPay search bar.
2. Explain whether the statements were slanderous, libelous, or both.
3. Provide the reason why these statements are false and what damages it has caused you.
That’s all you need to do to get your very own cease and desist letter! How easy was that?
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