Key Difference – Bribery vs Blackmail
Bribery and blackmail are two legal offences that involve an exchange of money. However, there is a big difference between bribery and blackmail. Bribery involves exchanging money or other valuables in order to get one’s work done. Blackmail involves extortion of money or something of value by the threat of exposing discreditable information.
What is Bribery?
Bribery is giving or offering of a bribe. It often refers to giving money or a valuable item to influence public officials in the performance of their duties. Bribery may take different forms such as money, favours, discounts, free tips, campaign contribution, secret commission, promotion, sponsorship, funding, etc. However, both giving and receiving bribery is punishable by law.
Some examples of bribery include,
A motorist paying some money to a police officer to stop the issue a ticket for speeding
A businessman agreeing to give a percentage of profit to officials to obtain a government contract
Judges taking money in exchange for ruling a certain way
A man who is building a building giving a bottle of liquor to a building inspector to grant a permit, etc.
What is Blackmail?
Blackmail is a crime involving threatening a person in order to compel him to do an act against his will, or to taking his money or property. Blackmail is considered to be a form of extortion and is different from extortion since it is mainly involved with information.
In blackmail, the offender threatens to reveal potentially embarrassing, damaging, or incriminating information about the victim or his family unless his demand for money, services or property is met. Even if the information the blackmailer has it true and is incriminating, he will still be charged with blackmail if he has threatened to expose it unless the victims meet his demands. For example, a person may have found photos of a public figure who is in an adulterous relationship; he may use these photos to threaten the couple and obtain money. While the photos he is using are true, his action in threatening the people involved in order to earn money is considered a criminal act.
The above-mentioned distinctions about blackmail, particularly its relation to revealing information, is usually seen in American English. In British English, blackmail can also refer to threatening a victim with physical harm. That is, a person may threaten to kill you if you don’t pay him money. However, this type of threatening is commonly known as extortion.
What is the difference between Bribery and Blackmail?
Bribery: Bribery is the act of giving money or other valuable items to a person in power, typically a public official, in order to induce the person to take a particular action.
Blackmail: Blackmail is the extortion of money or something else of value from a person by the threat of exposing a criminal act or discreditable information.
Bribery: Both parties are punishable by law.
Blackmail: Blackmailer is punishable by law; the other party is the victim.
Bribery: Bribery involves persuading and paying one party.
Blackmail: Blackmail involves threatening and intimidating one party.