I've been thinking a lot about this because I live in a very small town where the act of gossiping is not so well hidden as it might be in a larger town. Gossip doesn't seem to travel as fast when there's more people involved and it's easier for the instigators to go unnoticed. In a small town, you might as well get a bull horn.
I have also been the brunt of gossip though I've done nothing to warrant it. It's a case of mistaken identity. Isn't this what usually happens? More often than not, gossip is spread without the facts to back it up. We take one person's word for it and pass it on.
The Bible says, "A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends." Proverbs 16:28
Gossip is never a good thing, no matter how innocent it may seem. Left unchecked, gossip can rage like a wildfire. Inevitably, people get hurt.