The Differences Between “Defamation,” “Libel” and “Slander”

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In early 2021, Smartmatic, a United States-based voter technology firm, filed a highly publicized defamation lawsuit against Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News. The lawsuit, which totaled a staggering $2.7 billion, called out Fox anchors, like Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro, and host Lou Dobbs for spreading misinformation and conspiracy stories about voter fraud and the results of the 2020 presidential election. Smartmatic’s concern for its reputation resulted in a shocking move from Fox Business: The outlet cancelled its highest rated show, Lou Dobbs Tonight, and, in some cases, introduced fact-checking segments.

Meanwhile, Dominion Voting Systems filed its own defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump’s then-personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. The $1.3 billion lawsuit accused Giuliani of peddling "disinformation to purposefully mislead voters," something the company believes has caused "irreparable harm" to its reputation.