Satire & Defamation

Defamation – The act of damaging the reputation of someone or a business through creating a false statement that could harm those individuals.

Satire- The act of using humour, exaggeration or ridicule to criticize people in order to make fun of them to the point that it can change the way people feel for the individual or company.

Satire and defamation can have a huge impact on many businesses and individuals causing huge declines in sales or damaging a company’s branding overnight. Many TV shows or games that use humour to the point that it can be considered defamatory can end up in court due to the effect that the comments/illustrations made on an individual’s reputation. The way that an individual could help themselves in this situation is to prove that the comments made had truth behind them and weren’t false claims but obviously with comedy being over exaggerated it can be difficult to do this. Although, satire can be confused with what is an opinion and what fact is. If an opinion is voiced about an individual using humour to express themselves then this is simply an opinion, but if something is said which suggests this is factual and could potentially damage someone’s reputation then this would be considered satire.

For example, If Simon and his team created a small indie business and a year into entering the industry someone within Rockstar discussed that Simon used to work for them and had stolen from their company then this would be defamation as the statement appears to be factual but isn’t true. As a result of this, Simon’s company could have a large decrease in sales causing his business to go bankrupt. Simon would have a right to take the matter to court and sue for libel due to a damaging of his reputation meaning that he would unlikely get work within the industry, a loss in sales causing his company to close and highly likely putting him in debt due to a simple comment that was made.

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