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Filipino Town Bans Gossip in Bid to Stop Rumors from Spreading

Authorities in Binalonan, a small Filipino town about 200 kilometres north of Manila, have made gossiping illegal under a new local law aimed at preventing rumors from spreading within the community.

Trash talking someone in Binalonan could see offenders literally picking up trash under a new local law designed to make people take responsibility for the things they say. First-time gossipers risk a fine of 200 pesos ($3.8) and three hours of collecting garbage in the streets, while repeat offenders would have to pay up to $20 and put in eight hours of community service. The law isn’t very clear on what qualifies as gossip, but mayor Ramon Guico cited peddling rumours of residents’ relationships or financial situations as examples of punishable offences.

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