The Chafetz Chaim explains that there’s grave danger when you’re searching for information in terms of who you ask that information from. So for instance, let’s assume I’m entering into or considering entering into a business dealing with someone. The Chafetz Chaim says be careful not to ask that person’s competitors. There is a rule that competitors, as the Gemara says, hate each other. They certainly don’t look at each other favorably. And explains the Chafetz Chaim what I may be doing is entrapping you in speaking lashon hara, and I’ll likely get false information. I have to recognize who you are to that person, what the relationship is. And certainly if you’re in the same line of work it’s very likely that as competitors you’re very keenly aware of the person’s flaws, you’re very much aware of their shortcomings, not because they’re real and proper shortcomings, but more because of the competitive nature between you and he. And therefore explains the Chafetz Chaim if you’re searching for information you should not ask competitors. You should be very careful that the people that you are asking are unbiased, objective people.
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