Questions tagged [libel]

Defamation by written means

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18
votes
5answers
10k views

Do Twitter disclaimers saying “opinions are my own” give any legal protection to the account owner?

A larger number of twitter accounts have a biography stating that tweets are their own opinion not that of their company. An example: Opinions are my own and not the views of my employer Does this ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

Sue newspaper or the reporter for libel?

Are there any reasons to only sue a newspaper (the corporation) for libel and not the individual reporter who libeled you?
10
votes
5answers
6k views

False written accusations not made public - is there law to cover this?

If a person makes a false accusation against me in written, but not a published form, such as email, is there a legal process I can enact which would force the accusing party to either retract the ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

The difference between libel and slander

I've heard people use the terms libel and slander interchangeably, but I know that they are different in the eyes of the law. What are the defining characteristics of each?
8
votes
1answer
186 views

Is contributory “publication” a defense against libel?

Suppose there was a work of fiction where one of the characters was based on a real one. And suppose the real person sued the author and, through the process of discovery, found private emails, author'...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

Is it legal to call someone a pedophile without a conviction?

I just discovered that a number of people are calling Alan Dershowitz - the attorney famously linked to Jeffrey Epstein - a pedophile online. Consider this statement made on Twitter: Alan ...
6
votes
1answer
768 views

Risks of criticizing people online

Okay, so, basically, I want to make a blog about ripping on people. And it's not like just ripping because ripping but I really want to point out flaws in works/people/attitudes/technology/decisions ...
6
votes
1answer
513 views

How does changing a name FAIL to protect against a libel suit?

In the answer to this question, someone convinced me that changing Paul dePodesta's name to "Peter Brand" in "Moneyball, was enough to signal a "disconnect" between Mr. dePodesta and "Billy Beane's ...
6
votes
1answer
431 views

How is “defamation” defined?

I have a recollection that late in the 20th century in the United States, A called B a "bastard." B sued A for defamation. The court ruled in favor of the defendant. Its first observation was that (...
6
votes
1answer
84 views

Are forum users who establish their identity more entitled to protection from libel?

In an online forum or social network does a user who ties the identity of their presence there to their real world identity have more recourse open to them with regard to being libeled than a user who ...
5
votes
1answer
206 views

How does changing a name protect against a libel suit when “everyone” knows who he is?

In the movie, "Moneyball," the name of Billy Beane's assistant was fictionalized to "Peter Brand." Yet anyone who has read Michael Lewis' book knows that his real name was Paul dePodesta. Mr. ...
5
votes
1answer
901 views

Can I sue someone for publicly calling me a sex offender if I'm not one?

I was removed from the sex offender list by the state in May because I don't have a sex related crime, but I can still find myself posted on websites and posts labeling me as a registered sex offender....
5
votes
2answers
159 views

How can pro bono lawyers of a libel defendant become defendants themeselves?

According to this wikipedia article, Lord Aldington managed to join pro bono legal defenders for Nikolai Tolstoy as defendants in his libel lawsuit. "In 1996 the Court of Appeal upheld an order ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How does the statute of limitations on defamation work?

My understanding is that defamation has a very short window for a lawsuit, like one year. So suppose a libelous statement was published in a widely circulated journal, call it the New York Times, and ...
3
votes
2answers
359 views

Is “republication” a defense against libel?

The New York Times published a story alleging that person A did X. You publish a piece that said, "The New York Times reported that A did X." Later, Person A sues the New York Times and wins. Can ...
3
votes
6answers
884 views

How can libel laws be consistent with the 1st Amendment?

The 1st Amendment states Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press So how can libel law be constitutional?
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Libel of website

Is it possible to libel a website such as Craigslist or Facebook in a work of fiction? For example, if one were to write about a fictional character who had an interaction with another character, and ...
3
votes
2answers
221 views

Do laws against libel and slander [malice] also apply to incomplete information?

I understand that if somebody posts false information about an individual and if it can be proved that individual had intent to cause malice against the other individual, then that can be brought to ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Avoiding law suits with product comparisons

Upstate NY here, although this is more an internet-level question w.r.t. law. Also, an initial disclaimer: Although my particular use case does not involve Pepsi in any way/shape/form, I'm going to ...
3
votes
1answer
192 views

Is there a good defense against libel if a fictitious character is clearly a “composite?”

The name I had in mind was "Hillary Rice Whitman," the first female President of the United States. Maybe I'd make it Hillary Elizabeth Rice Whitman. Is the creation of the "composite" a strong ...
2
votes
6answers
239 views

Is it libel if I reasonably believed it to be true?

Suppose I'm a major newspaper journalist. A rape occurs, and the police arrest the suspect. Bucking all journalistic trends, I run a story with the headline, "Rapist CAUGHT," not "...
2
votes
2answers
716 views

Is it illegal for public figures to knowingly state a falsehood?

Here is an excerpt from this article in the New York Times: The Supreme Court established the First Amendment principles that govern the country’s libel laws in 1964, with its unanimous decision in ...
2
votes
2answers
209 views

USA: Is the opposite of libel illegal?

The dictionary defines libel as: a published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation In the USA, is the opposite illegal? That is: a published false statement that is ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between Libel and Libel Per Se?

Defamation is defined on various legal online resources (as well as here, and Libel is written and published defamation. Libel is defamation and defined as a false and unprivileged statement of fact ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

Scope of the false statement in a libel action

Given the statement, "John failed to respond to a criminal court summons, and he moved out of the state." Assuming that it is false that John failed to respond to a criminal court summons, but it is ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Is a CEO of a company a de facto public figure?

In other words, does a CEO share the same protections as a private citizen against slander/libel if the CEO only appears to the public (in interviews, shows, etc.) as a representative of the company ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

Am I responsible for stopping potentially libellous posts being submitted to a Facebook group I am an admin of?

If a member of a Facebook group that I am an administrator for posts something, in this instance an accusation of criminal wrongdoing, that is then reported by another user as being a lie, or ...
2
votes
3answers
112 views

Is it libel of one merely shares libelous material written by others?

Can one be punished / successfully sued for sharing libelous material written by someone else? For example, I read on a news website that John Doe committed a horrible crime. If I share this article, ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Can a private chat conversation about someone be considered defamation?

I recently commented on a Facebook post of a friend and suddenly got messaged by someone who was involved in the post. This person is in fact part of my social circle, however we are not close, we ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

In Germany, can an Individual press charges against a Newspaper for Libel?

So I've read the following: "You cannot publish untrue information about anyone or anything that could negatively affect that person or thing's reputation on your public blog. It doesn't matter if you ...
1
vote
2answers
187 views

Libel and the presidency

President Trump has been accused by women of rape, however he has never been convicted in court. If one were to write in a reputable publication that Trump "is a rapist," would such a publication be ...
1
vote
2answers
258 views

Can you sued for libel for telling the truth in negative advertisement?

In the event of a lawsuit against a previous employer for non payment. And the evidence against them includes notarized statements from previous employees with statements towards the owner refusal to ...
1
vote
3answers
250 views

What are my defenses against libel in this situation?

I had a dream that an acquaintance of mine was engaged in the African slave trade in the United States (that is right now, in the early 21st century). Suppose I turned the dream into a piece of ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Can former President Obama sue President Trump for defamation? [duplicate]

President Trump has made assertions that former President Obama "wire tapped" him and Trump has claimed that he has evidence of this. It begins to appear that Trump has been lying about this and that ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Depicting real places, public organisation names, and generic industries in an inaccurate manner in fiction

Could it be a case for libel if a fictional story has reference to the following… Places and countries (and some details, like description of locations, which may not be accurate) Reference to law ...
1
vote
3answers
75 views

Is a statement libel if it is in response to a false statement

If someone were to make a statement that was known to be false, and someone else makes a defamatory remark in response to that comment, is it considered libel? Say you review a restaurant negatively ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

In Canada, can you be sued if you specifically name a salesperson in a poor review?

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Sentiment Analysis on Persons, Companies, Things

Are there any laws against applying sentiment analysis on people, places, or things using open source data? How about data only found on my network (proprietary user opinion of other people, places, ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Is it legal to publish an edited version of an article without a disclaimer?

Say I were to write an opinionated letter to the editor. Then, the newspaper edited my article for content (deleted something they didn't like, changed wording, or otherwise changed the meaning of my ...
1
vote
1answer
808 views

What is “fair comment” in the context of a defamation suit?

Suppose there is a nationally known politician, and it is widely reported in the papers that some of his supporters fear leaving their college-aged daughters alone with him. And suppose someone ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Why didn't Nicholas Sandman name any individuals in his lawsuit against the Washington Post?

Why didn't Nicholas Sandman (Sandmann v. WP Company LLC, Dist. Court, ED Kentucky 2019) name the individuals working at the Washington Post who published the alleged libelous statements, as parties to ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

How many counts of libel for the false statement: “John is at-large from assault charges”?

Assuming that John has neither been charged with assault nor is evading such charges: Can John sue for two separate counts of libel (one for claiming that he is charged with a crime and one for ...
1
vote
2answers
101 views

Can a single false statement give rise to two separate causes of action i.e. counts in a lawsuit?

Is it possible under US libel for a single false statement to give rise to two separate causes of action (i.e. counts) in a lawsuit? If the answer is yes, what would be some examples of this?
1
vote
1answer
152 views

Using interrogatory or depo to ask libel defendant what facts she relied on in making statement

In a libel case, should I ask the publisher of the statement what facts she relied on in deposition or via interrogatory? I'm concerned that since an interrogatory can be supplemented, that her ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Do I face liability for publishing a ranked list of companies?

I want to create a website in which I will list various of companies in a niche area. I will write pros/cons and publish a ranking list based on my opinion. So my questions are: Can I create such a ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

Is it legal to post my experience about my landlord?

I had a horrible experience, wanted to move out and the landlord reactivated the ad. Is it legal to post a comment to highlight my negative experiences? To me it seems like giving 1 star to a product ...
1
vote
1answer
174 views

Are parents responsible for libel committed by their children?

If a minor commits libel, are their parents or guardian liable for the tort?
1
vote
1answer
108 views

UK-centric: how to stop a former colleague spreading informally unwelcome references?

I have a friend who took a former employer to tribunal, employer preferred to pay him early settlement compensation, signed mutual NDA not allowing any party (including employees) to disclose the ...
1
vote
2answers
130 views

Colloquialisms as defamatory statements

Considering a claim, in which the particulars state that words or phrases, often used in a colloquial manner, have caused or may cause financial and/or reputational damage to persons or businesses. ...
1
vote
3answers
405 views

Where is the distinction between libel and publicly voiced opinion?

I've always been interested in issues related to free speech, but they've also always seemed a bit tricky to make any determinations over as they encompass both opinions and strict legal codes. As I ...