This Week in Rumors Part I: Curiosity Killed the Cat

cat-laptop-beforeCarly Menacho
February 3rd, 2014

If you spend time on social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook you know that users are eager to share any and all new information about upcoming technological gadgets and features. In fact, we get so excited about these new technologies that we are ready to spread information regarding our favorite technologies to our friends and followers.

Social media sites are a great way to pass information quickly to a large amount of people which is beneficial in many ways, however, this also means false information will be spread as well.

Coding Rumors
At NarrativeTrack we can help you separate the beneficial from the harmful quickly. With our system you can assess and code rumors easily. There are several different classifications that we use when coding rumors. We define rumor coding like this: An individual takes a closer look at a rumor in order to determine the emotion associated with the story and the people that are directly or indirectly effected by it’s momentum. Technology rumors, for example, are more often than not, “curiosity type rumors”, which are those that are spread by an individual whose objective is to gain more information about a story. For example, an individual may hear that their favorite smartphone company is coming out with a new feature, so in order to discover if this information is true they share what they know with someone else, thereby “spreading” the rumor.

Below are three recent technology based rumors that were spread over various social media sites. NT would classify the following as “curiosity type rumors”:

  1. Youtube is working on a subscription-based service called “Music Pass.”
    • Origin: This rumor originated on the blog Android Police.
    • Possible purpose: Users may be able to download music and listen to it offline.
  2. Nintendo is creating Android and iOS apps to demo its games.
    • Origin: This rumor originated on the blog Engadget where it was later denied by Nintendo, “…Mr Iwata has also stated that Nintendo’s intention is not to make Nintendo software available on smart devices and as such, we can confirm that there are no plans to offer minigames on smartphone devices.”
    • Possible purpose: Full versions of Nintendo games could not be played using the app, instead it would be for playing demo versions of games on your Smartphone.
  3. Apple’s iPhone 6 will be partially solar powered.
    • Origin: This rumor appears to have began with an analyst with the financial blog “Seeking Alpha”.
    • Possible purpose: Analyst said: “Did Apple place an initial order last week for $68m worth of solar cell coating equipment, so they could use lasers to scribe solar cells onto sapphire screens, for the iPhones and iPods that will be released in 2014?”

    Next week I will tackle “fear type rumors” as the second installment of this IV part series on rumor types!

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