Other Names:
Unfounded conflicting stories

A rumor (American English), or rumour (British English; see spelling differences; derived from Latin rumorem 'noise'), is "a tall tale of explanations of events circulating from person to person and pertaining to an object, event, or issue in public concern."

In the social sciences, a rumor involves a form of a statement whose veracity is not quickly or ever confirmed. In addition, some scholars have identified rumor as a subset of propaganda. Sociology, psychology, and communication studies have widely varying definitions of rumor.

Rumors are also often discussed with regard to misinformation and disinformation (the former often seen as simply false and the latter seen as deliberately false, though usually from a government source given to the media or a foreign government).

Rumours are highly influential in determining buying and selling patterns on financial markets. Professional investors and speculators rely primarily on rumours in anticipation of hard facts. For them perceptions are more important than reality. Professional traders, communicating instantaneously around the world, are central to the spread of rumours vital to the stability of the global financial system. They must act on rumours or lose their competitive advantage.

In 1996 in Colombia, a panic was caused by a Christian fundamentalist rumour that the Antichrist was arriving and would mark or remove any unbaptized children.

The Internet has become the prime medium for the circulation of rumours on every conceivable subject, notably with regard to conspiracy theories.

Narrower Problems:
Rumour-mongering by scientists
Related Problems:
Chain letter hoax
Communication Communication
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST