Has the perception of the severity of slander and more so, libel, changed over time?
I can remember being raised to never be guilty of attributing a statement as made by someone who didn't make it. To clarify, I mean saying either in writing or verbally that someone said such and such. The connotation of libel or slander is that it casts a shadow over the person said to have made the statement. It's ever important to make sure that when it is stated that someone said something that they indeed did so. Have the standards lessened with regard to slander and libel to the degree that it's overlooked?
I think what has lessened is kids being taught not to do such things. Even when they get older, they seem to have no qualms about making up stories about other people saying or doing certain things and thinking it's okay to get revenge or bully someone in that way. One the other hand, more people are suing for slander and libel when the person relating the story are actually relaying the facts. What it all comes down to is people need to learn to mind their own business unless they need to say something in order to prevent actual physical or mental harm to another person and, if that's the case, it needs to be reported to the authorities instead of all over the internet.
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