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Elul 12, 5773

Lashon Hara/Internet


Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Question:
Hello. Would it be considered Lashon Hara to search for information about a person on the internet, and then speak of it to others? The information I have in mind is not negative - it is similar to your question about Lashon Hara and the MD. It is information that the person would prefer to keep private, has not spoken of it to thers, but has been published on the internet. Thank you.

The question was asked following the question "Lashon Hara about good things"

Answer:
One should not share information about a person with others, even if the information appears online, when it is known that the privacy of this information is important to him.

It is important to note that there is a lot of information online about many people, and they will not necessarily be pleased with the information being publicized. It does not seem that the Halachic limited permit of telling things which were said "B'apei Tlata" (In front of three people) applies to things advertised online, as not any information posted on one site or another turns famous and known to all.

In a case where a person publishes information about himself (not negative) on his own website, he shows his intent that he does not mind people knowing about it and one may share it with others.
(See Chafetz Chaim, Laws of Lashon Hara 2, 13 and Be'er Mayim Chaim 27).


The question "Lashon Hara on the Internet" was asked following this question.


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