Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “Perhaps a man who follows the faults of people and their mistakes (from both) statements and actions, will be afflicted by Allah unleashing upon him one who will follow [his faults and mistakes]”. [Sharh al-Mumti’ (5/208)]

Translated by

Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan

Can this fall under the people who gossip and spread news

Yes and those who try to expose the faults of others as it comes in the Hadith:

عنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ صَعِدَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمِنْبَرَ فَنَادَى بِصَوْتٍ رَفِيعٍ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ يَا مَعْشَرَ مَنْ قَدْ أَسْلَمَ بِلِسَانِهِ وَلَمْ يُفْضِ الإِيمَانُ إِلَى قَلْبِهِ لاَ تُؤْذُوا الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَلاَ تُعَيِّرُوهُمْ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُوا عَوْرَاتِهِمْ فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ تَتَبَّعَ عَوْرَةَ أَخِيهِ الْمُسْلِمِ تَتَبَّعَ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ وَمَنْ تَتَبَّعَ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ يَفْضَحْهُ وَلَوْ فِي جَوْفِ رَحْلِهِ ‏”‏ قَالَ وَنَظَرَ ابْنُ عُمَرَ يَوْمًا إِلَى الْبَيْتِ أَوْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَةِ فَقَالَ مَا أَعْظَمَكِ وَأَعْظَمَ حُرْمَتَكِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُ أَعْظَمُ حُرْمَةً عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْكِ

Nafi’ narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said:“The Messenger of Allah ascended the Minbar and called out with a raised voice: ’O you who accepted Islam with his tongue, while faith has not reached his heart! Do not harm the Muslims, nor revile them, nor spy on them to expose their secrets. For indeed whoever tries to expose his Muslims brother’s secrets, Allah exposes his secrets wide open, even if he were in the depth of his house.’” He (Nafl’) said: ‘ One day Ibn ‘Umar looked at the House- or – the Ka’bah and said: ‘What is it that is more honored than you, and whose honor is more sacred than yours! And the believer’s honor is more sacred to Allah than yours.’” [Saheeh Tirmidhi no. 2032]

Imam Mulla Ali Qari (may Allah have mercy upon him) cites the following lines of poetry in his explanation of the Hadith:

لَا تَلْتَمِسُ مِنْ مَسَاوِي النَّاسِ مَا سَتَرُوا فَيَهْتِكَ اللَّهُ سِتْرًا مِنْ مَسَاوِيكَا
وَاذْكُرْ مَحَاسِنَ مَا فِيهِمْ إِذَا ذُكِرُوا وَلَا تَعِبْ أَحَدًا مِنْهُمْ بِمَا فِيكَا

Do not seek the short comings of people which are covered
Lest Allah remove the veil of your shortcomings

Mention the good of what is in them if you mention them
And do not criticise anyone from them with what is in you [i.e. of shortcomings and faults]

May Allah protect us all

Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan
Abu Sulaymaan