Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Libel and Slander

Libel vs Slander

Defamation is the declaration or dissemination of statements which are insinuated as factual to produce a negative image to the subject individual, group, business, or any entity. For any such statements to be considered defamation to someone, it must be declared to people other than the subject individual, and it must be an inaccurate, deceiving, and misleading statement.

In most civil law regulations, defamation is considered a crime while in others it is considered a tort. Civil or criminal legal actions may be undertaken by anyone who is subjected to defamation to counteract against baseless criticisms. There are two types of defamation which are dealt with in a court of law, namely; slander and libel. While both may require the publication or dissemination of false statements, they differ in how these statements are presented to other people.

Slander is a defamation which is made by reporting or uttering statements that are false and malicious. These spoken words are meant to harm the reputation of another person or entity which may benefit the slanderer. It is made through the use of sounds, sign language, body language, and other actions which can offend another individual or entity. The material is stated or made in a subtle and deceitful manner.

However, making or speaking false statements on television, radio, Internet chat rooms, forums, or posting the same on Websites are all considered libel which is a defamation normally done through the use of written words or through the publication of photographs and images. It is done maliciously for the purpose of tarnishing the reputation of an individual or group of individuals or entities. For something to be considered libel, it must be proven that the person stating it is aware of its falsehood but still unscrupulously publishes the material.

An example is this: May and Belle are friends, but they had a misunderstanding when May’s boyfriend broke up with her because he realized that it is Belle whom he really wants.

The two became estranged, and May started telling their other friends that Belle has been using drugs which she knows is not true but does so to get even. This type of defamation is a case of slander. Not content with this, May posted the statement on a Website, and this turned into a case of libel.

Whichever way the statement may be presented, both can be the basis for Belle to file a complaint against May in a court of law.


1.Both slander and libel are forms of defamation. While slander is done through the use of spoken words, libel is done through the use of written words.
2.Slander also includes gestures, sign language, body language, and sounds while libel also includes the publication of photographs and images.
3.While issuing and speaking false statements is slander, publishing them on television, radio, or the Internet makes them libel.
4.Both are intended to harm the reputation of an individual or entity. Slanderous materials are presented in a subtle and deceitful manner while libelous materials are presented in an open and obvious manner.

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