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Tales on the Internet: making it up as you go along

Tales on the Internet: making it up as you go along The Internet‘s email system is a fast and efficient communication method and one that has become particularly popular for rumours and hoaxes. These include virus alerts, one of the favourite types of hoax, and urban myths or contemporary legends. An interesting element of these types of rumours and hoaxes is: the apparent reduction in caution about their retransmission; the speed and ease of re‐transmission that email offers; the extensive detail that is often included at variance to standard word of mouth transmission of rumour. This paper examines a single case study in order to investigate the differences between e‐rumours and word of mouth rumours. Theory suggests that detail adds verisimilitude to a rumour and this could certainly explain why such emails often provide extensive detail. The email system eases the job of re‐transmitting and this might explain why readers are prepared to broadcast such rumours without further checking. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aslib Proceedings: New Information Perspectives Emerald Publishing

Tales on the Internet: making it up as you go along

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References (3)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0001-253X
DOI
10.1108/EUM0000000006996
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Internet‘s email system is a fast and efficient communication method and one that has become particularly popular for rumours and hoaxes. These include virus alerts, one of the favourite types of hoax, and urban myths or contemporary legends. An interesting element of these types of rumours and hoaxes is: the apparent reduction in caution about their retransmission; the speed and ease of re‐transmission that email offers; the extensive detail that is often included at variance to standard word of mouth transmission of rumour. This paper examines a single case study in order to investigate the differences between e‐rumours and word of mouth rumours. Theory suggests that detail adds verisimilitude to a rumour and this could certainly explain why such emails often provide extensive detail. The email system eases the job of re‐transmitting and this might explain why readers are prepared to broadcast such rumours without further checking.

Journal

Aslib Proceedings: New Information PerspectivesEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 1, 2000

Keywords: Electronic mail; Internet; Viruses

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