Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Social Media Rumor Mill

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Originally posted on Likeable

Gossip Girl here. Your one and only source into the scandalous lives of the social web’s elite.

Social sites such as Facebook and Twitter are often great resources for obtaining and sharing information. You share with your friends, your friends share with their friends, and the information spreads like wildfire… but rumors start when conversations turn to gossip and become viral on the web. Today, I’m going to take a look at some of the weird, unusual, and completely bogus rumors that have been spread thanks to some of our favorite social networks.

Celebrity Deaths on Twitter
According to circulating rumors on Twitter, Aretha Franklin, Adam Sandler, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Carter, Charlie Sheen, Owen Wilson, Eddie Murphy, and Bill Cosby have all passed. Now, either these rumors are all false, or our favorite celebs have had an extraordinarily bad couple of months. In case you still aren’t aware, all of these rumors are totally and completely FALSE.

Rumors in Sports
Tweethearts have also been gossiping about their favorite sports teams and players. An article on www.chicagonow.com claimed that Ohio State Buckeye’s head coach Jim Tressel was stepping down as head coach after the Sugar Bowl. When “Jim Tressel” became a trending topic on Twitter, the rumor spread at an alarming rate. However, this rumor is incredibly FALSE. Similarly, rumors have swirled about Carmelo Anthony being traded from the Denver Nuggets. Some rumors say he won’t sign an extension for the New Jersey Nets, some say he’ll go to the New York Knicks, and some speculate that he may not leave the Nuggets at all. With all this trade talk, who knows where Carmelo Anthony will actually end up?  New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson says,
“That’s kind of what you sign up for. You’re always going to have rumors about something, especially with this new social media. A long time ago there was no e-mail, Twitter, texting – so, again, all the different media publications and outlets that have emerged over the years, there’s always going to be some rumors, even if they’re not accurate. We all know that’s why we have so many radio talk shows and all these different outlets are involved in sports.”

The End of Facebook
A rumor exploded this weekend claiming that in an effort to “get his old life back” and “put an end to all the madness,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would shut down Facebook for good on March 15th.  When Larry Yu, the Director of Corporate Communications at Facebook, was asked if there is any validity to this statement, he replied, “the answer is no, so please help us put an end to this silliness.” Alas, another FALSE rumor. Considering Facebook’s recent changes and announcements, including news about its new messaging system, new profile, and recent round of funding, why would Zuck want to shut it all down?

News has been circulating on Twitter about Michelle Obama’s possible pregnancy. The rumor claims that Michelle is 2 months pregnant and that the “new baby” is due on Barack’s birthday. Until we hear it from a White House rep., we’re going to say that this rumor is FALSE. However, it turns out that the David and Victoria Beckham pregnancy announcement on Facebook is totally and completely TRUE. We can’t wait for Baby Beckham #4!

Justin Bieber’s Twitter
ATTENTION BIEBER FANS! Rest assured, the rumors are NOT true. Justin Bieber is NOT deleting his Twitter. According to Biebs, he would never delete his Twitter because he uses the site to put ridiculous rumors to rest (see tweet below). As long as Justin doesn’t change his mind and make a big scene on YouTube (like fellow teeny bopper, Miley Cyrus), I’m satisfied.

What is the craziest rumor you’ve heard on Facebook or Twitter?
How can we end the gossip and ensure that we are sharing valid information?
How do we know what information is true and what is false?

And who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell. You know you love me.
Xoxo, Gossip Girl


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