Rumor Communication in Emergency Situations


Rumor is a term used to describe unsubstantiated information that spreads through a community in the form of stories, reports, pictures and conversations. It is often mistaken for gossip, but researchers have found that rumors differ from gossip in their content (rumor is more topical and reflects public issues rather than private matters) and in how they are received by individuals. Rumors attract attention, arouse excitement and involvement, incite behavior, influence attitudes and change beliefs. They also help people make sense of an ambiguous situation and adapt to perceived or real threats. The causes, characteristics, spreading mechanisms and social harmfulness of rumors are the focus of many communication research studies.

A rumor is a general hearsay, and it can be true or false. If a person loves to spread rumors, they are known as a rumormonger. Rumor can be verbal or written, and it usually sounds believable, such as: “My gossipy neighbor loves to spread ridiculous rumors all over town.”

If you hear something from multiple sources and it seems to make sense, it is considered a rumor. This is why it is important to validate rumors before acting on them. It is also important to distinguish rumors from speculations, as the former are factual and the latter is personal opinion.

Whether it is about politics, celebrity or sports, rumors are all over the news and can have a major impact on our lives. They can even lead to riots and other public disturbances. This is why it is important to understand how rumors develop and how they can be controlled.

The rumor about the American soldiers wearing night-vision goggles in Fallujah is an example of a smear campaign that was intended to undermine group loyalty and interpersonal relations. Other smear campaigns in the past include the rumors that the US government blew up levees in New Orleans and that American Catholics were trying to avoid the draft.

This study aims to examine the influential factors that influence the rumor recognition behaviors of social media users in emergencies. The research model combines the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and the theory of deterrence (TD), which are applied using a structural equation modeling technique. It is found that the perception of a risk has a positive effect on the individual’s attitude, which then affects the behavioral intention to recognize a rumor. Furthermore, the results show that certainty and severity have significant effects on subjective norms, which in turn increase the behavioral intention to recognize a rumor.

The rumors about Manchester City wanting to sign Gareth Bale have been denied by the club’s chief executive. However, it appears that they will still try to lure him away from Tottenham. The rumors are not only concerning money, but also a desire to get him into the team’s attacking system. In addition, there are rumors that they may even offer him over PS100,000 a week.