Backbiting and History

Can you commit backbiting about a historical figure? If so, how? How to avoid it? When does factual information turn into backbiting?

Thanks

Alright, this was originally closed but was reopened for a day.

In short (in case I have not explained properly):
We are told to avoid backbiting. Does this extend to historical figures? After all, those in the afterlife are people, too. We may even see them again some day. Many say to not talk badly about the dead. But does that have an expiration date?
When does learning/speaking about the bad someone has done turn into backbiting? How to avoid this when it comes to historical figures, if it is something to avoid at all?
Is being interested in the peculiarities of an event enough of a reason to listen to someone divulge some sins of someone that has come to light after hundreds or thousands of years? Does there need to be a much higher purpose (obviously, it shouldn’t just be an idle curiosity)?

Thanks.
(After speaking to the moderator, he graciously reopened the thread. I have used this opportunity to correct the topic to Moral Theology).

When you look at historical figures you cannot judge them by today’s standards and that is the problem - people judging them with today’s standards they simply don’t apply. Its also water under the bridge - it doesn’t matter anymore. Things have been good for about 80 years before that daily life was a real struggle - it was a different world no one could live up to today’s standards.

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I found this link, which devotes some space to historians:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04757a.htm

I suppose it makes sense. But it still leaves the question of when it is justified/appropriate to reveal such info.

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