I was listening to a sermon which talks about this. The speaker mentioned that before you talk about people, go through this checklist. It's really a good formula to make you pause and think before you accidentally start a gossip... slander or pass on a falsehood. (even though it is unintentional... but the harm would have been done)
Formula on talking about people. Ask yourself these few questions.
Is it True?
Is it Helpful?
Is it Inspiring?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Kind?
RESPONSE (if the gossip is about you)
IF it is true – Mend your ways
Purpose of Gossip
Don’t waste time defending
Distract – get us off focus – lose vision
Discredit - Question motive
Discourage – weaken hands
Deceive – compromise our integrity
Think twice before you say anything about anyone. Even though it is true (and not beneficial), but by the time the word gets back to the real person, the salt and spice added to the story would have made it into a real juicy gossip mixed with fiction and truth.