In the Anne: The Animated Series episode “Idle Chatter” Anne thinks she saw Gilbert cheating on his test at school.
Instead of discussing things with Gilbert first, she goes and talks to her friends about what she thinks she saw. By doing this, Anne creates gossip around Gilbert, which hurt his grades and his reputation at school. Once the whole town is talking about Gilbert’s cheating, Anne feels terrible she started the rumour. She knows she has to put things right and have Gilbert trust her again.
It is very easy for gossip to start, as talking about other people can start rumours. It is a great episode for kids to learn about the negative impact that gossip and rumours can have. It shows how a simple misunderstanding of Anne growing into town wide speculation on Gilbert. Anne makes the mistake of talking to others when she should have talked to Gilbert first. Gilbert could have dispelled what Anne thought she saw and there would have been no gossip about it at all. But instead, going to other friends, who tell other people, creates a chain of misinformation that hurts rather than helps.
It is difficult at times not to take part in gossip, especially since it happens very easily. Having an opinion on someone could easily turn into a rumour if it gets passed onto other people. That is why it is the best to just tell people things directly, rather than sharing information about someone with other people. Especially when the information is hurtful, it only creates a negative impact.