If I was thinking of writing a blog where I refer to a group of people such as immigrants, as traitors, would that constitute libeling?

I was interested in any country's laws to see what people think. A blog wouldn't normally be limited for view, to one country.

  • 1
    Which country's laws are you interested in? Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 20:52
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    Much more likely that you'd be violating laws against hate speech or inciting violence depending on the country you're interested in. Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 21:24
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    @MichaelSeifert, been down with covid. I was interested in any country's laws to see what people think. A blog wouldn't normally be limited for view, to one country. Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 2:08

2 Answers 2


It depends on the jurisdiction, among other things. There is such a thing as group defamation, and a lawsuit could be possible if the statement the statement falsely imputes to a small group some damaging fact, for example "The members of the Podunk City Council took bribes". A statement that "immigrants" committed murder would not be specific enough that one of more immigrants can bring a lawsuit. A statement about "Rohit Gupta" could if the circumstances support the conclusion that a specific Rohit Gupta was referred to, but a statement about "Rohit Guptas" (the plural, not a misspelling) would not because there are tens of thousands of Rohit Guptas.

A relevant piece of case law is Weatherhead v. Globe Intern., Inc., 832 F. 2d 1226. It is a general rule quoted there that

if ... the statement concerns a group sufficiently large that it cannot reasonably be understood to apply to plaintiff particularly, it is not actionable in the absence of content or circumstances reasonably specifying the plaintiff individually. 2 F. Harper, F. James & O. Gray, The Law of Torts § 5.7 (2d ed. 1986)

To succeed in a group defamation claim, plaintiff must

(a) the group or class is so small that the matter can reasonably be understood to refer to the member, or (b) the circumstances of publication reasonably give rise to the conclusion that there is particular reference to the member." Restatement (Second) of Torts § 564A (1977)

See this article for discussion of how group libel laws potentially infringe First Amendment rights, noting that group libel laws stood in for "hate speech" laws which are unconstitutional in the US.

  • There is case law cited in another Law.SE answer that fixes the maximum number of people at something like a couple dozen.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 0:22
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    @ohwilleke: Are you thinking of law.stackexchange.com/questions/86912/…, with Neiman-Marcus v Lait? Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 8:06
  • @NateEldredge Yes. That was it.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 14:23
  • You should add the jursidiction where this applies at the start of the answer.
    – o.m.
    Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 5:21

A statement made about a group can defame its individual members.

The person who made the impugned comments cannot avoid liability by hiding behind the fact that he or she used general terms applying to a group. Attacks on a group may in fact personally affect some or all of the group’s members. While the injury must be personal, it does not have to be unique, that is, different from the injury sustained by the other members of the group. The reputation of more than one person may be tarnished by the same wrongful comments. While the law does not punish the defamation of groups having no juridical personality, it does punish multiple individual defamation.

Bou Malhab v. Diffusion Métromédia CMR inc., 2011 SCC at para 49.

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