Origin of rumor and tone of message in rumor quelling strategies



Past studies have shown that, while refuting rumors, certain strategies, such as the introduction of a stimulus that deflects allegation, are superior to mere refutation. In this study, the originator of a rumor and the tone of a refutational message are proposed as factors that influence the success of rumor quelling strategies. It is shown that no refutation is superior when the originator is a negative stakeholder, whereas other types of refutation are more effective when the stakeholders are neutral or positive. Further, a conciliatory tone is uniformly superior to an inflammatory tone.