Sefer Chofetz Chaim chapter 10 halacha 2 continued

The next prerequisite for allowance to publicize lashon hara about a person who did some wrong to someone else and you want to try to fix the issue. 3. You have to rebuke the perpetrator first, is soft manner, in that way he might fix the issue, be it pay back the money for damages or give back what he stole, or apologize, without needing to tell anyone what happened. If he doesn’t listen, then it can be publicized to hopefully force him to make retribution. If you don’t think he will listen to you, that will be discussed in halacha 7. The Rambam says clearly that it’s forbidden to publicize the matter before rebuking him in private. There are different ways in how to understand Rabbeinu Yonah if part of the Torah obligation of rebuke is to first rebuke before publicizing or when it is just better character to not publicize the issue first. However, the Chofetz Chaim does point out that by first rebuking the perpetrator before publicizing makes sense for another reason since while confronting him you can question why he did what he did, what was his motivation, what happened in his eyes, and you will be doing some investigative work which is part of the second rule. You might come out that what happened is different then what you thought, or you might show him he is in the wrong and convince him to fix his error. Either way talking to him publicizing it is crucial because it will also fulfill the second prerequisite. Rebuking and investigating are connected to each other.