Actual maliceActual malice
in US law
is defined as "knowledge that the information
was false" or that it was published "with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." This is only the definition in the United States
and came from the landmark 1964
lawsuit New York Times Co. v. Sullivan
that ruled that public officials needed to prove actual malice in order to recover dammges for libel
Actual malice is different from common law malice which indicates spite or ill-will.