Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
The silencing effect that the threat of a libel lawsuit can have on those who would be sued if they continue such speech. The whistleblower's silence after being threatened with a lawsuit by her former company is a classic case of libel chill.
the greater the truth, the greater the libel
The more damaging or incendiary a fact is, the greater legal ramifications its publisher will face. Based on seditious libel laws of England in the 18th century. The Crown aimed to stamp out any and all seditious or rebellious publications that would aim to undermine or discredit the empire, truth being considered no defense whatsoever. In their eyes, the greater the truth, the greater the libel.
The greater the truth, the greater the libel.
Prov. It is more offensive to say something damaging and true about someone than it is to tell a damaging lie. Jill: Fred's really upset. Someone's started a rumor that he's unfaithful to his wife. Jane: But it's true. Jill: Yeah, but the greater the truth, the greater the libel.