Defamation refers to the publication or speaking of a false statement of fact about another person that harms that person’s reputation. Defamation seeks to compensate an individual for reputational harm. Defamation is sometimes referred to as libel or slander. The general rule is that libel constitutes written defamation, while slander constitutes oral defamation. For example, if person A yells to a crowd that person B a “sex offender,” that would be slander. If newspaper A writes that person B is a “sex offender,” that would be libel.