What is Slander?

Slander is the oral form of defamation. If someone speaks a false and “unprivileged” defamatory statement — at a meeting, over the TV or radio,in some other form of broadcast, or in a social group setting — the legal term for it is “slander”. Slander occurs when a defamatory statement is made where more than just one person speaks and the other person listens. If the speaker directly accuses the targeted person of illegal or despicable behavior, immorality, or having a serious disease (think AIDS), and no one else hears it, then there is no “published” element of defamation and therefore no slander. However, if even one other person (a third party) overhears that remark, it is “published” and considered slanderous.