What Is a Rumor?

Rumor is an unsubstantiated story that spreads from person to person in a community by word of mouth. It can affect the behavior of crowds for good or for ill, often with disastrous results. It can also have attitudinal effects, such as sullying the reputation of an organization (“Corporation X contributes to the Church of Satan”) or fostering hatred towards a particular group (“Ethnic Group Y greeted the World Trade Center bombing with celebration”).

Generally, people are very eager to share information. In a modern society, this information can be shared very quickly thanks to social media and other technologies. It is important to know what a rumor actually is so you can distinguish between the true and the false ones.

A rumor is an unverified account or explanation of events that circulates from person to person and pertains to an object, event, or issue in the public interest. It can be about a person, place, or thing that is being discussed, and it usually does not have any evidential value. In order to analyze the structure of a rumor, journalists have used archived discussions and created a coding system. They have categorized statements as prudent, apprehensive, authenticating, interrogatory, belief-making, sense-making, or digressive.

People tell rumors to satisfy their curiosity. For example, if someone overhears that a celebrity is coming to their town, they will want to pass the rumor along in order to see what it is like. In addition, there are many rumors that are not verified, so they can be passed around without anyone knowing that they are not factual.

It is also common for people to spread a rumor to boost their self-esteem. They do this by putting down other groups in order to lift up their own group and themselves. This type of rumor is known as a “smear campaign.”

There are some people who are more likely to spread rumors than others. This can be due to their anxiety level, their personality, or the ambiguity of a situation. People who have more anxiety tend to be less able to cope with stress and will often create a rumor as a way of relieving their tension. People who are more impulsive also tend to spread a rumor because they can’t wait to get the information out there.

People can find a rumor about anything online, but it is important to keep in mind that most of these rumors are not factual. It is therefore essential to verify the facts before spreading a rumor on social media or in any other form. This will help to prevent misinformation from getting out into the public and causing unnecessary distress. It is especially important to be careful about spreading a rumor on social media because it can be very hard to take back once it gets out there. If you are worried about a rumor, contact the source of the rumor and try to get it confirmed before you believe it.