Rumors are dark, hurtful things that can be spread to cause destruction. They are whispered, shouted, printed and posted. They can also be broadcasted over the Internet.
Rumor can be a powerful form of social propaganda and, as such, is considered a serious threat to the reputation of corporations, governments, or organizations. It can be especially damaging to companies whose reputations depend on the public’s confidence in them and their products or services.
Some rumors are smear campaigns that seek to discredit a person by spreading stories that make them appear unfit, inexperienced, or even criminal. Others are bogie or fear rumors that reflect feared outcomes, such as an enemy surprise attack. Other rumors are wedge-driving and intend to undermine group loyalty or interpersonal relations, such as claims that the US president is a Muslim, that John McCain had an illegitimate black child, or that “weapons of mass destruction” have been moved from Iraq to Syria.
These rumors may be spread by well-intentioned people to protect their reputations, but they can also be dangerous to those who believe them. They may lead to a loss of trust and confidence in a company or organization, resulting in lower revenue.
The impact of rumors on an organization can be measured by their impact on employee morale, job satisfaction, and organizational productivity. In addition, the negative effects of rumors can affect employee motivation and behavior, such as absenteeism and workplace violence.
In order to understand how rumors are spread, it is important to study how people decide whether a rumor is true or false. Researchers have discovered that people are more likely to believe a rumor when they feel anxious or unsure about it, and when the information is highly ambiguous.
Anxiety is a key component of rumor dissemination and has been studied extensively in psychological research. It can involve situational factors, such as anxiety associated with work, or individual traits, such as self-doubt. It can also involve personality, such as a sense of a lack of control or uncertainty about personal identity.
Those with anxiety are more likely to create and disseminate rumors in an effort to alleviate their fears or feelings of self-doubt. They are also more likely to share a rumor when they feel it is relevant to their lives.
A rumor can be created by anyone, but it is more likely to be spread by an anxious person or someone who has experienced a stressful event in their life, such as divorce or the death of a loved one. It is also more likely to be disseminated by an individual who has been a victim of abuse or trauma, or who is in a position of power.
Certainty is a measure of the degree to which an author of a tweet is confident in the accuracy of a statement that supports or denies a rumor. It is an indicator of how closely an author believes a rumor, and it can include a number of different types of evidence.