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Writing Bad Stuff and Saying Bad Stuff About Someone Else - Can Get You In Trouble!

Updated on October 5, 2015

Here's the Definitions - Slander

According to Webster:

Slander is using your mouth: to make a false spoken statement that causes people to have a bad opinion of someone.

Here's the Definition - Libel

According to Webster:

Libel is many things. It can be written or spoken, unlike slander which is entirely spoken.

There are many situations of libel which include the following quoted directly from Websters online dictionary:

1 : a written statement in which a plaintiff in certain courts sets forth the cause of action or the relief sought

archaic : a handbill especially attacking or defaming someone

2a : a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression

(1) : a statement or representation published without just cause and tending to expose another to public contempt

(2) : defamation of a person by written or representational means

(3) : the publication of blasphemous, treasonable, seditious, or obscene writings or pictures

(4) : the act, tort, or crime of publishing such a libel


Slander, in plain English means that you open your mouth and lie about someone and try to get other people to openly hate or mock that person, place or thing. Slander is bad in that it is a form of illegal bullying that is punishable by law. Slandering is a lie about someone that is meant to wreck a reputation.

If you slander someone in court under oath you are guilty of perjury.

Libel is Written or Spoken

If you are writing in an atmosphere where others will be reading what you write, and you intentionally write about someone and you are not quoting the truth, but making up a series of statements that may not be true, you are libeling that person of whom you are writing.

It is one thing to know that someone is bad. Pointing that fact out is not libel. However, making up a story about someone and putting it in a public place, such as social media, is libel..

Proving Libel or Slander

To prove someone is guilty of libel or slander requires a third person. A witness to the act. A third person who heard the slanderous statement or read the written lie.

Is It True?

If the statement made is true, then it is not slander or libel.

How About You

Do you know the difference between Slander and Libel?

See results

Entertainment and Media - How to Prove Slander

How to Prove Libel


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    • Trevor Wallace profile image

      Trevor Wallace 2 years ago from Outside Houston, Tx

      Yup. Libel is written, slander is spoken, like gossip. BTW, it's not libel if it's true.