Q – Is there a difference between whistle-blowing and gossiping?

Q – Is there a difference between whistle-blowing and gossiping?

I think there are some ear-marks within. They both tell a story that they probably shouldn’t tell, as it’s not theirs alone to tell. Maybe not even theirs at all. But what is the difference?


Someone sees a story within their group that needs to be told. Because someone is doing something unethical, &/or illegal. So they get in touch with the police &/or a journalist.

  • Because they want justice?
  • Or because they don’t want to face consequences when things go pear-shaped?
  • Because they want the behaviour to stop?
  • Or because they think they can profit from the story?


They don’t have to be inside the group to tell the tale. They just

  • can’t resist telling it because it’s interesting. Probably salacious.
  • they want to appear like they’re ‘in the know’.
  • they’re often jealous of the people involved
  • or are seeking revenge.


So is that the difference? Because not all whistle-blowers are coming from a good place. And not all gossips are coming from a bad one.

so what do we do?

  • Listen to the story?
  • Give them credence if what they say checks out?
  • Meet their goals for telling the story?


Does that change if the person telling the tale isn’t telling you who they are? Keeping their ID secret doesn’t let you determine their credibility or role within the story, does it? Do you refuse to listen on principle then?

where is the story disclosed?

In court, in a MSM site, on a SM site? What do you need to believe the story? Does source matter?

is it clear cut?

I think it’s a case per assessment. Depends on the story,

  • can you verify it independently?
  • Do the facts seem reasonable at least?
  • Is it a plausible tale, given what you know of nature and human nature?


Some thinky thoughts when you hear a story.

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