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Questions tagged [libel]

Defamation by written means

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19 votes
3 answers
6k views

Can someone explain the thinking behind the libel (?) case between Trump and Carroll for a non-US audience?

As far as I understand the situation between Donald Trump and EJ Carroll she has, very publicly, accused him of rape but there is no conviction or anything else "supporting" that accusation (...
d-b's user avatar
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19 votes
5 answers
16k 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 ...
kalenpw's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
5k views

What is the smallest audience for a communication that has been deemed capable of defamation?

Descriptions of the criteria for defamation seem widely to describe any statement that is communicated to a third party as being defamatory if they are (broadly speaking) false and harmful. This seems ...
Will's user avatar
  • 416
14 votes
3 answers
6k 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?
Gill Hamel's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
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?
Jason Aller's user avatar
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10 votes
5 answers
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 ...
ETooke's user avatar
  • 103
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is publishing defamatory statements from an "anonymous source" protected?

Say that Andy the Actor is minding his own business, when the Washington Post posts an article about him, claiming that, according to anonymous sources, Andy is a racist bigotted transphobe that has ...
chausies's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is it libel if a company lies about being the first to achieve something?

If a company publishes false statements claiming that it was the first to achieve some notable technological milestone, or that it currently provides the most of some measurable service, can that ...
Gimme the 411's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
230 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'...
Libra's user avatar
  • 6,498
7 votes
1 answer
493 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 (...
Libra's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is it libel if you claim someone said something that they actually didn't?

What is the legal term for claiming someone said something they never actually did, basically, putting words in their mouth? Is it called libel? Is it some other legal term? Or is there no legal term ...
user107952's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
840 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 ...
user4369's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
673 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 ...
Libra's user avatar
  • 6,498
6 votes
1 answer
127 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 ...
Jason Aller's user avatar
  • 1,628
6 votes
1 answer
3k 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....
Akinyele Simpson's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
324 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. ...
Libra's user avatar
  • 6,498
5 votes
2 answers
207 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 ...
Libra's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is Reckless disregard for the Truth?

If a person falsely accuses a public figure of cheating at chess, then takes actions that costs the public figure monetary damage. If despite lack of evidence, the person has a bona fide belief that ...
IKnowNothing's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is it ever illegal to spread true facts with malicious intent?

Crimes such as defamation usually require that the statement being said is false - truth is an absolute defense. Are there any situations or jurisdictions where truth is not a defense against ...
Quitting Due To Antisemitism's user avatar
4 votes
7 answers
1k 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?
spraff's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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 ...
Libra's user avatar
  • 6,498
4 votes
2 answers
375 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 ...
Sean Mackesey's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
203 views

How and when is something "published" to be considered libel?

When looking up "libel" in a dictionary, it says a published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation; a written defamation. I am pretty sure there are laws for almost any ...
nvoigt's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
457 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 ...
Libra's user avatar
  • 6,498
3 votes
1 answer
200 views

What to expect when getting sued from abroad for libel?

I, a citizen and resident of the EU, wrote a biography of a British citizen who resides in England, and I published it on a popular online encyclopedia hosted in the United States. The subject of the ...
PDQI's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
3 answers
189 views

Making specific accusations about non-specific people

Making accusations of a (serious) crime without evidence is, as far as I understand, illegal. If acusations are knowingly false, this is in fact a crime, of perverting the course of justice, otherwise ...
Bennet's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
1 answer
192 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 ...
Cascabel_StandWithUkraine_'s user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
377 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 ...
Veer Singh's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
725 views

Which state's laws apply to online defamation?

If a libelous statement is posted online, and the victim and offender are from different states, which state would be more pertinent to the defamation case? I.e. which state's defamation laws, statue ...
cine's user avatar
  • 143
3 votes
1 answer
98 views

What is required for a slander lawsuit?

Suppose there is a group of people being contacted by an outside agency at the business they are working at. The outside agency is lying about a particular employee's behavior and convincing this ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
1 answer
166 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 ...
smeeb's user avatar
  • 377
3 votes
1 answer
237 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 ...
Libra's user avatar
  • 6,498
2 votes
1 answer
586 views

Is it potentially against the law to publicize libel/slander that someone else made?

Nathan the Nobody makes a statement about how X company is horrible, mistreats its workers, has execs that elicit sex for favours, etc. A publication (e.g. the New York Times) publishes a huge article ...
chausies's user avatar
  • 4,131
2 votes
6 answers
951 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 "...
moonman239's user avatar
  • 3,058
2 votes
2 answers
901 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 ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 555
2 votes
1 answer
205 views

How to avoid being sued for a novel in USA and Canada

Suppose that an author is writing an autobiographical novel set in the USA and Canada. The author would like to avoid being sued for libel. The novel will be fictionalized, but it isn't flattering. ...
empty's user avatar
  • 125
2 votes
1 answer
134 views

Is it legal to divulge information about a company (kindergarten) online in Austria?

The situation is the following: We have made a very bad experience with a kindergarten in Vienna and would like to divulge (make public) the experience we made with this kindergarten. This would ...
alexisdevarennes's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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 ...
BlueDogRanch's user avatar
  • 18.9k
2 votes
2 answers
93 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 ...
Gill Hamel's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
728 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 ...
User37849012643's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
128 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 ...
RobertEves92's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
162 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, ...
vsz's user avatar
  • 957
2 votes
0 answers
92 views

Does a false libelous headline, but a correct article count as libel?

Assume a picture of an iPhone and a headline which reads: "Software error leads many phones to explode". Now in the article there is a line below the same image used for the headline which ...
Hakaishin's user avatar
  • 263
2 votes
2 answers
11k 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 ...
Nick's user avatar
  • 212
1 vote
4 answers
392 views

Rudy Giuliani sued, why ask for $1.3b?

Rudy Giuliani has been sued. The plaintiffs are asking for S1.3 billion in compensation. He doesn't have anything like that much money. His net worth is estimated to be $45 million. Why are they ...
Pete's user avatar
  • 1,147
1 vote
3 answers
146 views

What would one have to prove to use the truth defence in a libel claim of racism?

It is in the news that Laurence Fox is suing Simon Blake and Nicola Thorp for libel after they made allegations of racism. There has been quite a lot of work in recent years about ingroup bias studied ...
User65535's user avatar
  • 7,138
1 vote
2 answers
233 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 ...
RaceYouAnytime's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
291 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 ...
Libra's user avatar
  • 6,498
1 vote
1 answer
313 views

Why can't news organizations release the name of an accused person in Britain?

I noticed several news articles reporting that an unnamed sports star has been arrested for a serious crime. All the articles mention that the accused could not be named "for legal reasons". ...
bigchief's user avatar
  • 113
1 vote
3 answers
3k 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 ...
Eli S.'s user avatar
  • 119