In a high-developed electronic mediated society, a rumor bomb can easily overcome the public uncertainty about a particular political figure, group, or cause. The rumor’s effects may be transferred to an opponent and the source is often clearly partisan and seeking to profit politically from its dissemination. In such a case, the rumor has the potential to transfer from one person to another. This process is called “rumour diffusion” and can be very successful, depending on the characteristics of the original rumors.
Although the term rumour has been used extensively, many researchers disagree on its precise definition. Nevertheless, many authors use various terms to refer to this phenomenon. A common way to define a rumour is to look at how it is transmitted and how it differentiates from trivial or private topics. While a rumour is typically perceived by a large number of people, its content is shaped by the emotional needs of the community. Its purpose is to express the wishes and fears of a community.
In their study, Allport and Postman (2004; 2015; 2017) describe the process of rumour transmission by using three terms: levelling, sharpening, and assimilation. Levelling refers to the reduction in detail and selection of details to be transmitted, whereas sharpening and assimilation are the distortion of information caused by subjective motives. They also note that a rumour is not necessarily a true representation of the event.
The term rumour is more ambiguous than true, so it is important to distinguish between a true and a false statement. In a social environment, a rumour is more likely to be true than a false one. In a nutshell, a rumor is a statement of a fact that is unlikely to happen. It can occur in a political context, as a misunderstanding or fear of a situation or a person can lead to further confusion.
A rumour is a story that is based on speculation and has no basis in reality. The author of the book, Daniel Leonard Allport, identifies rumour as an example of a rumour. The study describes how a ‘rumor’ spreads, including a rumour’s source, and the various factors influencing its spread. It is a common form of storytelling, a tool used in social environments, and it is not limited to the world of politics.
A rumour can be a story about something that has happened in the past. It can be a fact that has nothing to do with the event, but it could still be true. It is possible that a rumor is a fabricated story created by someone who has no knowledge about it. It is often made up of a single word. Hence, a rumour may be a myth, but it is a false rumour.