Rumor is a social phenomenon, which is closely related to a wide range of social and organizational phenomena. Its emergence, spread, and influence are all affected by cognitive, motivational, situational, group, and network factors.
Defining a rumor
A rumor is information that is circulated without any official confirmation or refutation (Kapferer, 1996). It includes rumors of current events, such as the death of a high-profile person and the occurrence of a natural disaster. It also includes general hearsay, which is often regarded as untrue or unverified by most people.
Factors Affecting the Propagation and Control of Rumors on Social Media
In recent years, the Internet has become a productive incubator for the propagation of rumors. Investors exchange information through chat rooms, newsgroups, and message boards; and rumors have a significant influence on stock prices (Van Bommel, 2003).
Considering the important impact of rumors on corporate value, investors have become increasingly concerned about the spreading and control of rumors. However, the mechanisms behind the spread and control of rumors have not been fully studied.
The emergence and spread of rumors on social media has been a major problem for investors, governments, and companies. It has caused a variety of serious problems for corporations and has led to economic losses and public distrust.
Online rumors are not only a threat to companies and governments, but also an inconvenience for users. Especially in the context of emergencies, they have a major impact on people’s lives and should be prevented as much as possible. In order to avoid the negative effects of online rumors on society, the government should adopt an effective strategy to regulate the rumor recognition behavior of social media users.
Managing rumors on social media
Managing rumors on social media is an essential task for companies. Rumors have a great influence on the reputation of companies, especially in the field of public relations. In addition, rumors can lead to loss of revenue, customer and employee complaints, and stifle business growth.
Understanding rumor recognition behaviors of social media users in the context of emergencies is crucial to the regulation of online rumors and the development of rumor governance strategies. This study investigates the influences of subjective norms, attitude, perceived behavioral control, and behavioral intentions on social media users’ rumor recognition behavior in the context of emergencies.
Subjective norms and perceived behavioral control are the most influential factors for social media users’ rumor recognition behavior. They affect the behavior intention of social media users and increase their enthusiasm toward rumor identification. They also have a positive effect on the actual behavior of social media users.
Attitude is a major factor that can influence the rumor recognition behavior of social media user in the context of emergencies; it has a positive effect on behavioral intentions, and increases their enthusiasm toward rumor identification. It is also a crucial factor that can influence the actual behavior of social media users.
The results of this study provide important theoretical foundations for developing rumor governance strategies. Moreover, they can serve as a model for future studies. Furthermore, they can help the government to regulate the rumor recognition behavior of online users in the context of emergencies.