False Light

Definition - What does False Light mean?

False light is a tort wherein a person says things about another publicly that should not be said to the general public, and that might not be true. By virtue of the person saying something that makes the other person look bad, they are casting them in a false light.

False light deals with a person who is non-public, such as the average citizen, as compared to a politician. If the person's job puts them in the public light, then they do not have the same ability to claim that they were cast in a false light, because they willingly opened themselves up for scrutiny.

False light is usually brought up with defamation, libel or slander charges.

Justipedia explains False Light

A person cannot say something, publicly or to another person, that is based on something that cannot be proven and that is inherently considered private. If one person was told something embarrassing about another person and repeated the statement to other people without checking if the statement was true, they could be charged with painting someone in a false light.

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