Know Your Rights and Update Yourself on the Defamation Law of Your State

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No matter which state you live in, it is always better to understand and abide by the different laws of the state. Talking about the laws, did you know that there is also a defamation law? If you have been defamed or your reputation has been damaged due to baseless rumors, you can always sue people.

Law of Defamation

The law of defamation states that individuals or companies can sue for reputation damage. Defamation need not necessarily have to be in writing. If someone has gossiped about you that raises a finger on your character that too comes under defamation. There might be some changes in the defamation law of various states.

Written defamation is referred to as libel whereas oral defamation is referred to as slander. The defamation law comes under the Tort law. Now, you might be wondering what is the tort law is. A tort is nothing but a civil wrong.

What Comes Under the Defamation Law?

Going by the definition of the defamation law, you might wonder whether you expressing opinions about others, might land you in a soup. The answer to this is no. The court with look at evidence or proof and verify the details. In order to have a clear understanding of this law, you might need to know about the different components which are as below:

  • Written publications
  • False statements
  • The information is not privileged
  • Injurious information

Written publication can be in the form of false information published in newspaper, magazines, email or on web. Quoting snippets from any existing resources can also put you at a risk of the defamation law.

False statements can also fall under the defamation of character. When an unprivileged statement or information is shared, then the person has the right to file for defamation. Last, but not the least, any information, or statement that can lead to “injury” in the form of loss of respect, job or shunned by society.

Law for Public Figures

Now that above is not applicable to celebrities or public figures. Had the above law been applicable, you might not get to read any titbits or gossips about your favorite movie star or politician. There is a slight twist here. While the defamation law provides strict protection for the general public, the law is less stringent for celebrities.

When the first Defamation Act came into existence it acknowledged the fact that statements or information about public figures can be made; provided that the statement was made unintentionally. If they were made with actual malice, meaning that the person sharing such information knows that it is not true, then a defamation case can be filed against them.

There are certain exceptions to the defamation law:

  • If the statements made is supported by facts
  • Minor mistakes such as wrong information published
  • Public records


If you have been a victim of defamation, then you might want to have a word with your lawyer. A professional lawyer will be able to help identify with the loopholes in your case and guide you on the right track.