Halacha 12: As bad as it is to speak badly about your fellow Jew in front of other Jews it is worse to speak about your fellow Jew in front of non-Jews because there is at least a very good chance other Jews won’t accept what you say or ar least judge the victim favorably but a non-Jew will most likely immediately believe what you say especially if a Jew is willing to speak about another Jew in that fashion it must be true and will spread the world and might even harm the Jew spoken about. What’s worse is if a Jew rattles on a fellow Jew to non-Jews and gets him in trouble. This is so bad that it is equated with someone who denies the Torah and Hashem. The Chofetz Chaim notes that it’s known even back in his time of people who would hire false witnesses and tattletale on their friends as a form of extortion to extricate money from them unlawfully in non-Jewish courts.
Halacha 13: In terms of accepting lashon hara the general rule is you cannot accept any lashon hara as truth about any Jew accept about an apikores and one who tattles on his fellow Jew to non-Jews. Bottom line any Jews which loses his status of being included in “your nation” one can believe lashon hara about them. Even two parties in a fight which you are allowed to SPEAK lashon hara about if it will quiet down the argument, does not mean those listening can accept the lashon hara said as absolute truth, unless it is obvious that it is the truth and by accepting it as true it will help to stop the argument.
Another topic the Chofetz Chaim brought up in a footnote is the issue of making fun of others, i.e., mockery. People tend to make fun of others in very subtle ways so that the victim won’t necessarily pick up on what he said and take revenge and on top of that, the slyer he is the more impressed people will be at his quip and think he’s a smart comedian which will egg him on to say more and make the victim look really bad. There are a number of prohibitions that go along with this issue.
1. Leitzanus: One is forbidden to make a mockery in a negative sense.
2. Onaas Devarim: It’s prohibitive to say things that make people feel bad.
3. Those that listen and laugh are spitting Hashem.
4. Those that stand by and say nothing don’t perform the mitzvah of rebuke.
5. They are also transgressing Flattering a bad person.