Simple Ways To Avoid Defamation Claims

This article defines defamation claims and has tips on how to avoid falling into defamation lawsuits.

What are defamation claims? A claim of defamation may occur when one person intentionally or negligently makes a statement of fact that damages another person's reputation. There  are two types of defamation: libel and slander. Libel is written defamation and slander is spoken defamation.

While you can't always avoid defamation claims, there are several ways to reduce your chances of falling into a defamation lawsuit.

Here are a few simple ways to avoid falling into a defamation lawsuit:

♦ Avoid writing inflammatory statements on the internet. What you post online (blogs, podcasts, comments, etc.) will remain online and be used against you in a defamation claim. Also avoid emailing, texting, phone apps, and video for the same reason.

♦ Check your sources before you post something you think to be a true fact, when in fact it comes from an inaccurate source. Oftentimes, you also may not be aware of the entire story. Conduct due diligence.

♦ If you're expressing an opinion, make sure you state it as an opinion and not a fact.

♦ Think about the types of people who's reputations matter to them most. Anyone in the spot light often such as celebrities, politicians and high profile business men and women are more likely to aggressively protect their reputations and sue anyone who tries to damage that reputation. Consider carefully what you have to say about high-profile people before you say it.

♦ Avoid emailing, texting, or writing online when you're feeling emotional. Write it in a journal and put that journal away for 24 hours. In the morning, you'll probably be glad you didn't post or email how you were feeling.

♦ If you are unsure if what you have to say may be considered defamation, consult an attorney. It's quick, easy, and may save you time and money in the future, if in fact what you have to say may be defamation.

Defamation claims can be costly and time-consuming, but by using these tips you can perhaps avoid being accused of defamation.


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