Rumour in Politics
A rumor is something that has circulated through the community or public opinion about a specific topic. It usually involves some sort of exaggeration and outright lying. If the rumor becomes prevalent enough, it may become accepted as truth by the listeners and it becomes the general belief. This can be dangerous for those who are involved in certain debates and discussions.
In business and other organizations, the use of gossip has been used as a strategic communication tool for years. Companies have been successful in their marketing campaigns through this medium because it allows them to reach out to their audience without actually having to state their requirements in person. Through rumours, they are able to create a sense of urgency to respond to the audience’s needs and wants. Rumors are also very helpful in gaining support and credibility from the target audience. They create an atmosphere where people think that the company is established and trustworthy because of its consistent results and good reputation. These are some of the reasons why businesses use rumour bombs.
Rumours, like all forms of propaganda, are only useful if the people who are spreading them actually know what they are talking about. Otherwise, it can be considered just plain counterproductive. There is a difference between knowing the truth and spreading lies in politics, but that is another article.
Propaganda, on the other hand, cannot be taken lightly. Although the methods used for propaganda are often very subtle and even symbolic, it still has a huge impact on society and on people. It creates an impression that is based on falsified information and half-truths, and that can have long-lasting effects. The existence of a rumour is very evident in the fact that no reputable news media outlet will publish any rumour that does not have strong supportive evidence backing it. Rumors are a key component in effective communication studies and it is best to understand their spread and persistence.
In political communication, it is also very important to understand how rumours influence people’s decisions and choices. It can be studied at both the personal and the societal level. What we know about the rumour and social cognition proves how important it is to address rumours in all their forms and playing areas. We also know that in certain circumstances, managing rumours and building trust are very important in the political arena.
For instance, a recent study was done where a group of students was divided into two groups. One group was given a rumour that there was going to be a big reward soon, the other group did not know about this rumour. After a period of time, it was found that the rumour had indeed affected the performance of the first group but not the second one. This study goes to show that rumour can affect people’s actions and attitudes in many different ways, and e.g., by changing voting preferences and the support for a certain political party.