Saturday, October 4, 2008

Spreading Rumours 101

I had come across a quite few people who liked to spread rumours. Some of them would add known facts with half truths to spice up a story. Some of them will add half truths with unfounded facts and sell it as a whole truth.

But one style of spreading rumours stands out. This style of spreading rumours usually centred around three main players. For illustrative purposes, I would term the three main players as The Rumourmonger, The Blogger and The Commentator.

The Rumourmonger is usually the main culprit. On the other hand, both The Blogger and The Commentator may just be the conduits used by The Rumourmonger to spread his story to the masses. In some instances, at least one of the conduits, either The Blogger or The Commentator, is a person of repute, which will make the rumour more credible.

For example, The Rumourmonger would want to spread a story on an alleged affair. He would inform The Blogger that he was told about this particular person who is having an affair with a known person. The Rumourmonger would add a few other lurid details of the alleged affair. The Rumourmonger would then tell The Blogger that he (The Rumourmonger) heard the same story from The Commentator, and asked The Blogger to check out the story with The Commentator (but asked The Blogger not to mention The Rumourmonger as his source).

At almost the same time, The Rumourmonger would approach The Commentator to spread the same story of the alleged affair. The Rumourmonger would also mention to The Commentator that the story was made known by The Blogger. And again, The Rumourmonger would encourage The Commentator to verify the story with The Blogger.

Of course, The Blogger and The Commentator would eventually check out the story with each other, and confirmed the “authenticity” of the whole story.

That will make The Blogger and The Commentator as the two main sources of the rumour, leaving The Rumourmonger free from any ultimate blame.

I think kickdefella is the latest victim of The Rumourmonger. I surely hope that kickdefella is not himself be The Rumourmonger.

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