The rumour spectrum

Abstract : Rumour is an old social phenomenon used in politics and other public spaces. It has been studied for only hundred years by sociologists and psychologists by qualitative means. Social media platforms open new opportunities to improve quantitative analyses. We scanned all scientific literature to find relevant features. We made a quantitative screening of some specific rumours (in French and in English). Firstly, we identified some sources of information to find them. Secondly, we compiled different reference, rumouring and event datasets. Thirdly, we considered two facets of a rumour: the way it can spread to other users, and the syntagmatic content that may or may not be specific for a rumour. We found 53 features, clustered into six categories, which are able to describe a rumour message. The spread of a rumour is multi-harmonic having different frequencies and spikes, and can survive several years. Combinations of words (n-grams and skip-grams) are not typical of expressivity between rumours and news but study of lexical transition from a time period to the next goes in the sense of transmission pattern as described by Allport theory of transmission. A rumour can be interpreted as a speech act but with transmission patterns.
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Contributor : Nicolas Turenne <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 2:10:18 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 5, 2018 - 2:45:33 PM

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Nicolas Turenne. The rumour spectrum. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2018, 13 (1), pp.e0189080.1-27. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0189080⟩. ⟨hal-01691934⟩



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