Say that I did business with Acme Corporation and my salesperson was John Smith. I want to write a review of my service that specifically says "John Smith was not a good sales person" in my online google review of Acme corporation. Can John sue me for defaming him even though I was reviewing Acme?


No, you didn't make a false statement about him, you expressed a personal opinion which is neither true nor false. Defamation isn't defined in terms of "where you publish the statement", it simply is about publishing a statement, which is damaging, and which is false.

  • Who is the judge of whether a statement is true or false and/or damaging in this case, though? Certainly if I said "he stole my car" that would be provably false. But stating that he is a poor salesman can damage his opportunity to get further income. Is that not a problem? – Michael Stachowsky Jul 18 '19 at 15:53
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    The judge (or jury) is the judge. The truth or falsity of a statement is not defined in terms of whether the statement causes damage. In general, assessments that a person is "good" or "bad" are statements of subjective opinion, not statements of fact. A defamatory statement has to falsely assert a fact. – user6726 Jul 18 '19 at 16:09

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