Blog - November 17, 2021
Defamation: What Is It, And How Can You Reduce The Risk?
1672, 1672, elisa-ventur-bmJAXAz6ads-unsplash (1), elisa-ventur-bmJAXAz6ads-unsplash-1.jpg, 2762732,,, , 4, , , elisa-ventur-bmjaxaz6ads-unsplash-1, inherit, 1306, 2023-08-17 15:43:48, 2023-08-17 15:43:48, 0, image/jpeg, image, jpeg,, 5184, 3456, Array

Publishing content comes with a risk. You could be writing a blog post, recording an interview, or making a game or feature film – whatever the format, a single false statement could land you in hot water.

Just look at the news surrounding the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit earlier this year. A chess grandmaster sued the streaming giant for $5 million over a single line.

Now, your business may not fall victim to a seven-figure potential payout. But there are still significant legal costs involved in protecting your business from a claim, which you may not have the budget for.

While we’ve already written about Professional Indemnity, one of the benefits of a solid policy is protection against defamation. Here’s why that protection is so important.


What is defamation?

Defamation is a false statement, presented as fact, that damages a person’s reputation. Libel (written word) or slander (spoken word) frequently fall under the defamation category.

It’s considered a crime because a damaged reputation can affect someone’s quality of life, relationships with others, and ability to earn. That last one is understandably particularly relevant to businesses.


Understanding spurious claims

You may find yourself the victim of spurious claims – in other words, statements that are untrue. Because reputation is everything in business, chances are that you’ll have to fight tooth and nail to prove that the claim isn’t legitimate.

This is something we’ve spoken about before. But to offer an example, one of our clients was asked to create an eCommerce website for a food and drink manufacturer. The end customer claimed the website was unusable and demanded unwarranted compensation.

We saw that the claim was vexatious; the claimant was still using the website 18 months after delivery and enjoying decent revenue from it. Fortunately, our client had an insurance policy capable of protecting them. Otherwise, they’d have suffered significant losses.


Preventing a claim

And if you’re not the victim, but are wary of publishing something defamatory? Here are some tips on reducing your risk of being issued a claim:

  • Have a clear social media policy for all employees that can be found in your staff handbook or contracts
  • Have a straightforward takedown procedure for any content that has the potential to be defamatory
  • Use disclaimers for contributors to ensure they’re responsible for their own statements or input
  • Seek a legal review, or exclude if possible, if you suspect content has potential exposure
  • Fact-check any content for accuracy

If you work with material that’s perhaps considered controversial or is more likely to divide opinion, you can find out more about insuring heavier content on our blog.


Are you protected from defamation claims?

Defamation can happen to any business, and with it comes the very real possibility of towering legal costs and untold levels of stress. With our help, you can avoid that by choosing a policy that accurately protects you.

If you want the peace of mind our service brings, get in touch today on 0161 533 0411 or by emailing


Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

Latest blog posts

Read more
Contact Us

Have your own insurance challenge?

Get in touch with the RiskBox team for a solution.
You can reach us on 0161 533 0411 or
Alternatively, click the button below and fill in our contact form.
Chat with us