Even if you get a great roll when submitting it, if your rumor is hyper specific, or includes a first name of a non world famous person, isn't interesting, etc., it's going to be denied.
We don't like denying gossip, but if the gossip is like 'I heard Bob is getting flack from people for being a corporate sympathizer, serves him right.' -- how can we not deny it? This gossip gets sent out to multiple different NPCs-- many of whom might not know who the heck Bob is. And also, how many Bobs do you think there are in a city with 65 million+ people?
I assume most people are submitting gossip in order to influence public opinion on something in for or against something or someone. So let's assume you want to write that same gossip in a way that isn't small worlding, and could apply more generally. How about this: I hear a lot of people are being accused of being corporate sympathizers lately. And a lot of people are okay with that and think it's deserved.
You'll notice two things about this:
1. It doesn't call out a specific random person. If you're talking about an extremely well known person, IE: Juicy Vee or a Staff Judge, you could use their name + title. But generally speaking, keep names out of it.
2. The second option did NOT inject a first person opinion on the matter. Remember, the gossip is going to be parroted by multiple NPCs, in their own words. Do not assume that all NPCs are going to share the same beliefs. Write it more like a news reporter might report on a situation, in that it can still be slanted but doesn't inject your personal opinion in it directly.
I'm interested in others thoughts on this, as well as what we can do to better train people on this, given it's an automated system. I'm hoping this thread turns into something I can link from the help file.
Feel free to provide made up examples (stripped of IC info and situations) to help illustrate what you think gossip submissions should look like.