There can be two forms of defamation – slander and libel.
Slander involves something that is spoken with the intention to harm someone’s reputation and can be heard. It is in verbal form. For example, Rahul says bad things about Seema’s character, which results in Seema losing her job. Rahul has committed the crime of defamation through the act of slander.
Libel involves something that is visually represented with the intention to harm someone’s reputation and can be seen. So, for example, anything that can be written, printed or something on an effigy, movie or statue can be defamation in the form of libel. If Rahul writes something about Seema in a magazine in a derogatory manner, then Rahul has committed the crime of defamation in the form of libel.2