If someone does not downvote defamatory posts on Stackexchange are they liable for defamation under Indian Penal code? I am refering to section 499 and section 500.

  • I have to point out that your title and the question body ask different things: the title is in error.
    – user6726
    Feb 16 at 17:03


They do not commit the necessary actus reus by ignoring, or not even reading, a defamatory post.

To be guilty, one has to act:

by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation


If I don't read a question, I can't downvote it. You can't claim I endorse a message I haven't even received. In fact, even if received it, to endorse a message, I have to take affirmative action that makes my stance clear: No vote is indifference. Upvoting would show endorsement. But I still won't publish a statement I endorse: only the actual speaker publishes a statement.

  • Not sure why this was down voted - seems perfectly sensible to me.
    – Rick
    Mar 2 at 23:35

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