Difference Between Libel and Slander

Main Difference

The difference between libel and slander is that libel is written false news that can cause damage for a person whereas slander is only verbal false news that can cause havoc to a person.

Libel vs. Slander

Defamatory statements are statements that cause damage for that person about which is that news. There is two type of defamatory statements that are libel and slander. There is a vast difference between libel and slander; libel is written news that can cause damage for a person whereas slander is only verbal news that can cause havoc for a person. The difference between slander and libel on the statement against them, if the statement against them is proven it is called libel whereas if the statement is not proved it is called slander. Even the case is going against someone and is not confirmed yet the defendant try to determine that the statement made against him is not true, once the statement is proved right it is written, and measures are taken against the defendant.

Both the defamatory statements cause damage to the person, but there is the difference between the damage made by libel and the damage made by slander. A statement that is proved will cause more damage that is libel whereas the statement that is not proven will cause less damage that is slander. The court is responsible for deciding the damage; a proper case is filed against the person all the proofs and documents are given in the court and court will decide the punishment and financial loss of the accused person. No one wants a defamation statement because it is false news that causes damage to the reputation of a person that doesn’t deserve it. People who might be jealous of a person with right financial conditions and good reputation spread false news against that person. Slander is the type of defamation that can be a speech or said on any social platform. There is sedition act of 1798 against spreading false news about anyone.

Comparison Chart

MeaningLibel is written news that can cause damage to a person.Slander is only verbal news that can cause damage for a person.
Financial damageMore financial damageLess financial damage
LimitSix yearsTwo years
Famous caseNew York timeFood label law

What is Libel?

Libel is written news that can cause damage to a person. False Statements that are written in the form of printing, blogging and writing are called libel. Libel are made to damage any person reputation that cause person to public form. Libel also cause financial damage to that person. Criminal statements are also called libel. If you are under any libel you have to face problems such as fines, restitution, public service and sometimes jail. Libel and slander are considered to be the same thing, but there is significant difference. Libel against you makes sure that you get a solid punishment whereas slander can be ignored as it is just saying nothing much. Injunctive relief is the best remedies against libel. There is a plaintiff’s that work to prove that libel is right and if they are successful in proving that libel two things happen that are

  • General damages

Loss of the defendant reputation.

  • Special damage

Financial loss of the defendant.

In many states, even libel is written against any person, the case is filed, and that person is bought to the court, and then proofs and documents are given in favour and against the statements. The court listens all the reports and sought the amount of damage. If a significant amount of money is wanted, then the court justify the compensation of all losses.

What is Slander?

Slander is only verbal news that can cause damage for a person. Slander is a statement that is not true about a person that causes harm to the reputation of the person. Slander is not always due to some crime but is when something wrong happen for example civil wrongs. Slander is the legitimate opinion about the person. Slanders are the statements that are made usually when a person is in anger. Slander is always the wrong statement that is made against a person to disturb the reputation of a person, and that statement is told in a wrong way. Slanders are also called only the false opinions of people. Some typical examples of defamation are:

  • Spreading the news that a person is bisexual to destroy that person reputation.
  • Claiming that a person is a fraud when he or she is not a fraud.
  • Telling that a person has wrong relationships.

Some statements are also not considered slander because they are true. Opinions of a person is also not called slander.

Key Differences

  1. Libel is written news that can cause damage for a person whereas Slander is only verbal news that can cause havoc for a person.
  2. Libel cause More financial damage whereas slander cause less financial loss.
  3. Libel is printed whereas slander is just spoken
  4. New York Times case is the example of defamation whereas food label law case is the example of slander.

Comparison Video

YouTube video


In this article above we see the clear difference between libel and slander. Both terms are considered to be the same, but they are not same.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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