Libel vs. Slander

Q: What is the difference between libel and slander?—Mark E.

A: Libel is the printing of false information that’s stated as if it were fact and brings harm to someone (or some group). Slander is spoken.

Think of it this way: If my mom were to go on television and tell everyone that I kicked puppies—which I’ve never done and would never do—she would be committing slander. If my local newspaper printed a story, “Brian A. Klems is a Puppy Kicker!” then that rag would be committing libel.

Seriously, though, I would never, ever kick a puppy. I swear.

OK, I’ll make a donation to my local SPCA right away.

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One thought on “Libel vs. Slander

  1. Dharma Kelleher

    I was wondering about taking someone’s videotaped speech and editing it in such a way that it deliberately misrepresents what that person actually said (e.g. Breibart’s edited version of Shirley Sherrod’s speech). Would that be classified as slander or libel or neither?

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