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Rumor Theory & Social Media

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Dave Copeland

on 25 May 2015

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Transcript of Rumor Theory & Social Media

Rumor Theory & Social Media
Factors That Lead To The Spread Of Rumors
Collective Anxiety
Improvised Group Behaviors
Adaptive Collaboration
Police Scanners
Three-Stage Rumor Process In Social Crisis
1) People go to traditional institutions, such as mainstream media.

2) Then turn to social networks (offline variety) to try and fill in the blanks.

3) Finally, they use collected information to “improvise news” to fill in gaps in mainstream media reports.

Watertown Lockdown
1. A piece of unverified information of uncertain origin usually spread by word of mouth.

2. Unverified information received from another; hearsay.
End Result:
Information Overload
Information Dearth
Anxiety + Ambiguity = Rumors
Information conveyed by rumor must be important to both sender and recipient.

More anxiety = more rumors

Two types of ambiguity:
Source Ambiguity and Content Ambiguity
Monday, April 15, 2013, 3:40 pm: Two bombs detonated at finish line of Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 264 people.

Thursday, April 18, 5 pm: FBI holds press conference and releases photos of two suspects, who are considered armed and dangerous.

11 pm: Police officer shot and killed, starting manhunt for suspects.

Early morning hours of Friday, April 19: Governor orders more than one million residents to "shelter in place."
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