Rumor is a very powerful weapon in today’s world. It’s a way to transfer public uncertainty to the opponent. Rumor bombs are often partisan and anonymous, so they can be a powerful tool for political or social manipulation. Moreover, they can spread quickly in a highly mediated electronic society. Hence, it’s important to know the ways to control rumor in a given situation. Below are some tips on how to control rumor:
The emergence of rumors is a common human activity. There is a tendency for people to spread rumors based on a variety of criteria, including how important a subject is. Rumors are more likely to be spread by people who are anxious and do not monitor them carefully. They are more likely to spread a rumor if the source is credible. Hence, researchers have been able to determine the underlying factors that make rumor spreading so common.
When a rumor becomes popular, the earliest version of it may have originated from a myth or legend. A later version of it may be a fact, although it may not be true. The word ‘rumor’ is derived from the Latin word rumorem. Rumors usually contain information that is not substantiated by official sources. For instance, a rumor may claim that John is next in line for a promotion at work.
A modern scholarly definition of a rumor dates back to German social science researcher William Stern, who in 1902 experimented with a chain of subjects and found that rumors tend to become shorter and more concise as they spread. In a single study, 70% of a message is lost after five or six mouth-to-mouth transmissions. As a result, rumors tend to be more precise and less complicated than gossip.
The term “smear campaign” refers to a coordinated effort to discredit an individual. The most common example of a rumor bomb is a statement that is not entirely true but is false. It aims to discredit a person or an event by producing a false narrative. In other words, it’s a coordinated effort to discredit a person or group. Regardless of the origin, a rumor bomb is an attempt to reframe or create an event with an intention to damage that person or group.