@Dave One of the elements of slander is publication of the falsehood. The fact that people believe the falsehood and take action based upon it is part of the damages element in a slander case. Forming opinions and taking actions based upon false statements that you believe to be true without republishing the false statements is not actionable.
ohwilleke May 24 '21 at 17:01

But what about defamation? Is this a legal synonym for slander? Or is it something different?

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    But who is Dave?
    – Robert
    Commented Jan 26, 2022 at 14:05
  • 1
    I assume that the first paragraph is a block quote.
    – marianoju
    Commented Jan 26, 2022 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


Slander is one of two main categories of defamation, the other of which is libel. Historically, slander applied to oral statements, while libel applied to statements in writing. The modern trend is to eliminate all substantive legal distinctions between libel and slander.

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    Historically the theory was that spoken things were ephemeral and therefore less damaging due to impermanence, whereas written things could easily lurk around for decades. Today we can record the spoken word, thereby giving it the same permanence as written. Something which was spoken, and witnessed, but not recorded by anyone would likely still be best classed as slander, but I rather doubt many of those cases actually go to court these days.
    – Perkins
    Commented Jan 26, 2022 at 19:53
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    Just remember the classic line from the first Spider-man film when Peter tells J. Jonah Jamerson that what he's saying in the paper is slander. J. Jonah Jameson : It is not! I resent that! Slander is spoken. In print, it's Libel.
    – hszmv
    Commented Jan 26, 2022 at 20:10

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