30 October, 2013
-when we think of rumour and gossip we usually think about magazines and secrets
- infact gossip and rumour are an essential part of life
- it is really part of all collective behaviour
- it is really sort of side or fact of something that is part of all types of collective
- we are going to look at rumours and gossip as themselves
- first thing to point out about gossip and rumour
- why is it collective behaviour; it is uninstitutional mostly, sometimes it can be
institutionalized, it is generally spontaneous, it is generally unstructures, and can
involve usually a large number of people
- it definitely falls under collective behaviour
- gossip and rumour can occur both in crows (most crowds, particular acting
crowds) but also in publics or virtual crowd (this is primarily how gossip and
rumour is conducted these days, due to the speed and interconnectedness of the
- Here is another aspect where collective behaviour has changed, in the nature of
how publics can act, in a virtual way
- eventhough they can be negative, they can also be positive, it is an even split.
The difference between them have to do with the transmission of both.
- Rumour is a story that is unsubstantiated and unauthenticated and told
without reliable evidence
- Rumours tend to be theory drive rather than fact driven
- Rumours are passed on and communicated not because of a way of evidence
- Rumours can be personal and impersonal at the same time
- Rumour is both a process and a product
- A rumour stops when it is proven to be either true or false
- So rumour is unsubstantiated information, but once the truth is known about
the rumour then it ends
- For example, if there was a rumour that Hermer was in an accident over the
weekend, and you are wondering if it is true and then the rumour spreads
- When he shows up to class and his legs are not broken and he is perfectly
fine then the rumour ends, and it is no longer a rumour.
- Another example; Benedict Cumberhatch; there was a headline at the
Toronto film festival, and that there was a rumour, that he was going to be in the Star War movie, but he made an announcement and said no he is not, and
he wasn’t asked to be in the movie, and he put the rumour to rest.
- Once the facts are facts are substantiated the rumour ends
- Conditions that may influence rumour generations and transmission:
- 1. Important or involvement
- 2. Uncertainty
- 3. Anxienty
- 4. Entertaining
- Rumour can be both a process and a product. The process in trying to find
out the truth and a product because it is produced by an individual.
- Both rumours and gossips have an entertainment value.
- it is not like rumour
- First of all while rumour can be about personal things, and people, it can also
be about things, like highways, and buildings.
- Gossip is always strictly personal.
- It is not defined by a factual foundation. Rumour is defined by factual
foundation if it is true or not
- Gossip does not depend on the facts at all
- Gossip can continue and transmitted and can be retold in a way that is either
substantiated or unsubstantiated
- We here this all the time, gossip can go on and on, and it doesn’t matter if it is
untrue or obviously not correct.
- Gossip is not fact base and it is always personal
- For example; if Hermer came back and he seemed fine, gossip will still
continue and they would say that he was there, and maybe he got fined, or
went to jail.
- There is overlap between gossip and rumour
- And rumour can morph into gossip
- Example; with Benedict Cumberhatch; while he put the rumour to rest, there
is probably gossip, that he is being considered, or he wants more money
- This is what makes gossip so insidious and quite powerful.
- There was a rumour that Obama wasn’t born in United States, and then when
Obama released the birth certificate, then people still continued to talk about
it , and it turned into gossip
- Gossip is always personal, solely and exclusively about person matters
- There was a rumour that a building was haunted, and then the owners
wanted to sue the individuals that the bought it from for 1 million dollars.
The judge threw out the case, because they thought it was ridiculous and you
cant prove that the building is haunted.
- This is a rumour because it is not personal it is about a building.
- But it also has the gossip quality because it is about a building being haunted
and it is probably going to go on and on.
- One of the thing about gossip is visibility and celebrity, the more visible you
are the more people gossip about you
- You can generate gossip about yourself and other people - In terms of celebrity gossip, that invite gossip is, Kanye West and Kim
- Gossip and rumours is not a bad thing that people project on someone else
- Gossip and rumour are inherit in social communication
- Some people enjoy gossip and some don’t
- It can be used as a weapon, flattery
- But it is inherit way of how we communicate with each other
- It is also a form of social courtesy
Functions of Gossip
- gossip has a more human quality
- 1. Gossip is the integration of the group or community (gossip can be an
expression of status and power, it also touches on the quality of the sense of
- 2. Aff