Defamation is the communication of intentionally false information about a person, that can severely injure their reputation. Defamation can be classified as libel or slander, where libel is in writing, and slander is verbal communication. A popular form at the moment is internet defamation, which can consist of publications online, in blogs or social media.
In order to put forth a valid suit for defamation, specifically slander, it is important to prove that the written or spoken communication was false, the communication was directed specifically at the plaintiff, the statements were read or heard by other people, and that the communication caused the plaintiff economic loss or harm.
In terms of libel, it is not necessary to prove that the plaintiff suffered damages, as written statements and articles online last longer than spoken statements or hand gestures; it is only necessary to prove that the statement was false and that there is a record of it.
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