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Is bashing a person on Facebook considered slander?

Spokane, WA |

Is putting comments on facebook about another person, calling them names, stating they are a bad parent, stating they are a home wrecker, stating they are adusive and stating what they believe they will do wrong in the future...this is public humiliation but is it slander? what can be done?

Attorney Answers 3


I am sorry to hear about your trouble. In order to establish a claim for libel or slander (what we lawyers call an action for "defamation,") you need to establish the following elements: (1) a false and defamatory communication, (2) lack of privilege, (3) fault and (4) damages. The statement must also be "published" or communicated to a third party. A communication is "defamatory" if it injures the defamed person's reputation by causing them to be shunned by others or hurts the defamed person in their business relations. Also, bear in mind that statements of opinion cannot be defamatory as they cannot be proven false. So, without knowing more, it sounds like while the statements made are annoying and even humiliating, they may not rise to the level needed to pursue a claim for defamation. Also, keep in mind that how the statements are conveyed are also important. For example, if someone says "I think that. . ." or "It is my opinion that. . ." then those statements are generally treated as opinions. What I would do is report this person to facebook and advise them that this person is making these statements about you and that you want them taken down immediately. If this behavior continues, I suggest you contact an attorney in Spokane who could advise you on what your best options are. Best of luck,

Arthur D. Leritz

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Defamation requires proof that incorrect statements of fact, not opinion, were made to third parties and that it caused harm to you. Here is a link to a guide on defamation law to help you determine whether the law applies to your circumstances.

I truly wish you the best.

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This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.

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I would respectfully suggest that you review the Legal Guide I have published on dealing with defamation. I am sure that Facebook must have some way that you can contact them about objectionable postings and I suggest that you do so.

Legal Disclaimer:

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.

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