Rumors and Fake News as “Improvised” News

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Rumors are often believed by people to flourish in an environment of news blackouts and information famines, and thus, assumed to them diminish in an era of information overload. But the opposite seems to be the case. In contemporary information society, rumors seem to arise not from lack of information, but from an information overload (Kimmel, 2004).

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In today’s globalization age characterized by liquidity and flows, information has become “liquid” and can swiftly penetrate the various domains of social life (Ritzer, 2010). Liquidity is a metaphor used by some globalists to explain the growing flexibility and mobility of things that is brought about by the current processes of globalization.

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Liquidity simply means that things, information and places are increasingly becoming light and thus easy to move from one location to another. Like water, “liquids” can easily “flow” to different locations with the capacity to change their form in order to adapt to the environment.

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With today’s globalization and technological innovation, almost all things have become so fluid and light that they travel in various spaces in blinding speed. In a similar manner, news, “fake news,” “alternative facts,” e-rumors, e-gossip, and other forms of content now mounted on digital and electronic platforms in the cyberspace flow like running water or liquid that penetrates dimensions almost all dimensions of social life. Corporate organizations are not spared from this tsunami of information that besieges the market and the workplace.

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As information is easily and freely created, traded, edited, and manipulated to suit one’s interests, the veracity of their content declines resulting in the difficulty to know which news are “real,” “fake,” or “improvised” such as rumors and gossip. With information overload and the constant bombardment of the mind with unverified information from the Internet, people are deprived of the luxury of time and immediate means to swiftly investigate whether the posts, news, or information they received from and passed on to other people are totally or partially true or false. This also happens during crisis or emergency situations when information is absent or lacking to ascertain the truth. Knowledge means control. In business settings, sufficient information is good for managers and the corporate organizations they handle to achieve higher productivity and profit.

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Rumors and gossip do not normally emerge in moments of certainty where the corporate organization runs smoothly, but usually during times of crisis and unexpected change in the day-to-day operations of the company. Thus, rumors usually abound when a business firm faces or experiences bankruptcy, leadership change, mergers, buyouts, financial losses, labor problems or restructuring.

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For instance, when Twitter faces a buyout by other firms, rumors spread like a wildfire. When news leaked that Twitter will be the takeover target of the giant companies in September 2016, whispers were immediately and spread in the cyberspace. News spread that the engine company Google (Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL, Tech30), would take over the company, pushing the stock value of Twitter to 20% rise. But since no immediate confirmation came from Google, more speculations arise.

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CNBC mentioned that the business software company Salesforce.com might also be looking to buy Twitter, but no clarification what benefits Twitter would bring to this transaction. Later, other rumors surfaced that Verizon (VZ, Tech30) might be bidding for Twitter as well, but Verizon denied the speculation. Since no accurate information to rely on of who would buy Twitter, the rumors continued.

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The Media companies News Corp (NWSA) and 21st Century Fox (FOXA) — both controlled by Rupert Murdoch — have been cited as possible Twitter acquirers too. So has NBC parent company Comcast (CMCSA) as well as the Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer — who are two of Twitter’s largest shareholders — could team up to take the company private. Again, in the absence of certainty, more rumors surfaced saying that the influential Silicon Valley investors Marc Andreessen and Silver Lake Partners could team up to buy Twitter and so on (La Monica, 2016, 23 Sep).

This case of Twitter buyout shows that rumors can immediately spin and become uncontrollable if no convincing and reliable information is available.

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The sociologist Tomatsu Shibutani notes that rumors or other forms of unverified information or “fake news” arise from uncertainty, from the absence of context and concrete information by which those affected by a crisis may understand its significance:

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“When activity is interrupted for want of adequate information, frustrated [people] must piece together some kind of definition, and rumor is the collective transaction through which they try to fill this gap. Far from being pathological, rumor is part and parcel of the efforts of [people] to come to terms with the exigencies of life (Doorley & Garcia, 2007).”

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Thus, rumors  for Shibutani are “improvised news,” a tentative information created by people who are affected by uncertainty in order to gain control and to make sense of ambiguous situations or crises.

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

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About the Author:

Dr. Vivencio (Ven) O. Ballano is Associate Professor V of the Sociology Department of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Manila. In 2011, he obtained his doctoral degree in Sociology from the Ateneo de Manila University. He was chosen Post-Doctoral Research Fellow of the Southeast Asian Studies Research Exchange Program (SEASREP). He is the author of the book Sociological Perspectives on Media Piracy in the Philippines and Vietnam published by Springer Singapore in 2016. Dr. Ballano’s specialized areas of teaching and research include sociology of law, religion, disaster management, corporate organization, and the Catholic Social Teaching. His current projects and interests include writing monographs and articles on rumors and gossip in corporate settings and the Catholic Social Teaching, as well as doing sociological research on film piracy and illegal camcording in the Philippines.

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8 Biggest Turn Offs for Women in a Date

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The following are some of the biggest turn offs for women in a date. Men must avoid these actions and traits when having a formal or informal date with a lady. A turned off girl would probably tell her partner the following observations:

1.You Lack  Confidence, Boy! Your Body Language will Show it.

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Insecure personality as shown in the guy’s body language is a big turn off for women in a date.  If you’re not confident about yourself or are feeling nervous during your dinner-date, your female partner will notice it. This is one of the biggest reasons why guys get spurned on a date. Women usually look for guys who are confident, secure, and ready to protect them. How can a nervous guy assure a woman that he can be dependable and reliable if he himself lacks self-confidence?

2. Oh, Boy! You look Cheap in Your Own Date When You Don’t Have To Be!

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First impression counts in your first date. Prepare for it, including your budget. Make sure you have enough money to bring your girl to an expensive dinner-date! Your date will result in a big turn off if she noticed that you trying to save money and thus look cheap! The following actions are some of the biggest turn offs for women:

“#1: Order the cheapest thing on the menu, and make a joke if his date orders something more expensive. Even if you’re kidding, this makes her feel hugely unappreciated.

#2: Ask to split the bill, when he’s the one who asked her out. Look, ‘don’t go Dutch’ is a  a core rule of manliness. If you ask her out, you pay. It’s just polite.

#3: Bring a bottle of wine to a party, and take the leftover wine home. I’m not even going to explain this one…”(Sutherns).

3. You Have a Bad (Or Overpowering) Scent, Boy!

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Some advice to avoid a bad or overpowering smell:

Step #1: Use antiperspirant, instead of just deodorant. Deodorant only attempts to block bad odors… while antiperspirant stops sweating altogether.

Step #2: Brush your teeth well every day, instead of just intensely brushing right before a date. Bad breath germs can live in your mouth/throat and can even grow … so wipe them out regularly by brushing on a schedule.

Step #3: Choose the right cologne (and use a max of two sprays). Some cologne are more powerful than others, so get one that’s long-lasting, and tone down the amount of sprays (one spray on both your chest and neck are ideal).

4. You Accidentally Make Yourself the Focus of Your Date!

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“There’s a distinct line (a timeline, actually) between being expressive (what girls want)and being too informative (what they don’t want). Being expressive means telling her that you like her, being honest when something’s bothering you, etc.…but being too informative means talking about things that are way too personal/serious too soon (when she’s not ready to hear them…)” (Sutherns).

5. You are a Boring Guy!

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A boring guy is another big turn off for women. Women  like dating partners who are entertaining with a strong sense of humor, making the date worthwhile. All girls and guys have experienced this at some point in their lives. Try to sit next to a guy, and his conversations were so boring that you would rather jump off a cliff.

6. You’re a Narcissist Dating Partner!

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A self-centered guy who cares more about himself than his date is a big turn off for women. Any guy who spends more time in front of the mirror than his own girlfriend is a huge turn off. Also, if you’re having dinner with your date, and the waiter accidentally spills a bit of juice on your silk shirt, wipe it away like a man. Don’t whine about how your silk shirt is ruined and behave like a drama queen.

7. You Act Like You Know it all, Boy!

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Don’t talk as if you know all the answers to all the questions of your female partner. Nothing is worse than you acting like a dude who’s too self-absorbed with your own self and forget to notice that you partner exists. Talk less and listen more to your date. Make her feel that she is important and special during your date.

 8. You’re not Following Her Through, Boy!

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Women like persistent men. After the date, women expect their men to make a follow after the first encounter. They like men who pursue them. An inconsistent guy is a biggest loser and turn off for women.

GIF Credit: Giphy.com

References

Patterson, E. (n.d.). The 10 Biggest Dating Turn Offs for Women. Retrieved from https://www.lovepanky.com/men/understanding-women/10-dating-turn-offs-for-women.

Sutherns, R. (n.d.). “7 Big Things that Turn Women Off [From Her]”. Retrieved from https://www.mantelligence.com/surprising-things-that-turn-women-off/.

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10 Danger Signs Your Priest Has Serious Problems with His Vocation

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Pope Francis condemns careerism among priests and religious. Treating one’s priesthood as a career rather than a personal calling from God to live a life of service and holiness is contrary to the Church’s teachings on the true nature of Catholic priesthood.

“Using especially strong language on one of his favorite themes, Pope Francis decried a plague of careerism among priests and urged them to renounce their personal ambitions for service to the church — warning that failure to do so would make them look “ridiculous.”

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“Careerism is a leprosy, a leprosy,” the pope said June 6, in a speech to students from the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the school for future Vatican diplomats. “Please, no careerism!”

All types of priestly ministry require “great inner freedom,” the pope said, which calls for “vigilance in order to be free from ambition or personal aims, which can cause so much harm to the church.”

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Priests must make their priority the “cause of the Gospel and the fulfillment of the mission” entrusted to them, not self-fulfillment or public recognition, he said.

Such self-denial “may appear demanding,” the pope said, “but it will allow you, so to speak, to be and to breathe within the heart of the church.”

By “cultivating a life of prayer,” he told the priests, one can transform daily work into the “gymnasium of your sanctification” (Catholic News Service).

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Here are some signs that your priest is infected with the leprosy of careerism and, therefore, has serious problems with his vocation as a servant of God. This calls for the laity to pray for priests and be vigilant against clerical abuse to help them overcome careerism:

1. He is often conscious about his physical appearance.

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Priests are expected to be role models in hygiene and decency with regard to attire. But if he is too conscious of his looks and acts like ordinary teenagers, be warned that he have fallen in love with somebody or is having personal issues he cannot let go. It is normal for a person who falls in love to be extra conscious about their appearance and health.

2. He is often unavailable in the parish church.

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Priests are normally busy on weekends, especially Sundays, because most of the sacraments in the parish are celebrated during these days. Except if priests has other duties in the Church or seminary, they are expected to be available on weekdays. If they are not available and always out-of-town, then be warned that they may have personal affairs or relationships they are busy with during ordinary days.

3. He lacks enthusiasm when celebrating the sacraments.

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If the priest celebrates the sacraments such as the Mass, Baptism, Matrimony, etc as if he is only doing them as a chore, without enthusiasm, then be warned that he may have problems with his prayer life. One can easily feel the sanctity of the priest through his aura, demeanor, and level of spiritual enthusiasm in celebrating Christ’s sacraments.

4. He is often in need of money.

Priests have allowances and can receive stipends when celebrating masses. But if he engages in funding raising without a reasonable cause, be warned that your priest might be financing something such as a fancy car or supporting his own family which can be contrary to his vocation.

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5. He is often temperamental.

It is understandable that a priest might get angry if something goes wrong in his parish plans and see wrongdoing of his parishioners. After all, priests are also humans. But if he is suddenly different from his usual self and becomes easily irritable even in trivial things, then be warned that he might be in serious crisis with his vocation. He might have some serious personal problems which may be contrary to his vocation.

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6. He doesn’t prepare well his sermons.

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One can easily tell through the aura and sermon of the priest if he is a holy and spiritual person or he is just doing a chore. A good priest prepares his sermons well. He must not exceed 15 minutes in his homily as suggested by Pope Francis. He must not also use his sermons to vent his personal issues and unfulfilled needs.

7. He loves to show off his latest gadgets.

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Priests who love to show off his latest gadgets, such as iPhones, hoover boards, Mac Pros, and other expensive equipment, are giving wrong impressions to the laity. Why would they act like secular persons if they are spiritual leaders of the Church? They are supposed to be role models in Christian virtues and not commercial models for the latest expensive gadgets. Lay people would then start to doubt the sincerity, spirit of poverty, and holiness of their parish priests if they see them owning and using expensive gadgets.

8. He likes fancy cars.

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Craving for fancy cars and SUVs seems to be the common preoccupation of the new generation of priests. Instead of making themselves role of models of practicing the spirit of poverty mentioned in the Beatitudes, they become status symbols of a middle class lifestyle. The diocese must have a strict policy on owing and using luxury vehicles for their priests as this practice is contrary to the simple lifestyle of Jesus.

9. He is worldly in his ways.

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Priests can be sociable beings but not socialites.As pastors and witnesses of the Gospel, they must be aware that there personal actions, tastes, and activities must not be interpreted by the laity as worldly or materialistic. Lay people can easily spot a priest who is spiritual from a worldly one.

10. He is having an affair.

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Although lay people can sympathize with priest’s loneliness and lack of intimacy in parish church, they are also alarmed if they know their priests are having an affair with women or men. Persistent concubinage and other forms of illicit sexual union by priests are forbidden by the Church’s Canon Law. Once a priest engages in concubinage or sexual abuse, he loses gradually his vocation and lives a double life. He loses his credibility and becomes a liability to the Church. The Catholic church paid millions of dollars as damages in courts due to clerical sexual abuse in the US and around the world. The most common challenge faced by many priests today is how to satisfy their need for intimacy without leaving the priesthood.

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

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6 Weirdest Love Stories and Marriages Ever Told

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The Bible and the Church teach that marriage is sacred and a union between a man and a woman. Ephesians 5:25 says:

“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.” Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” … He who loves his wife loves himself.”

Despite this Biblical teaching, people with different cultural orientations prefer to marry their bride and groom according to their personal taste and cultural preference. The following are among the weirdest love stories and marriages ever told:

1. A Lady who Fell in Love with a Wall and Married it

Eija-Ritta Berliner-Mauer

“Eija-Ritta was only 7 when she saw the Berlin Wall for the first time on television and she felt head-over-heels when she saw the wall. Eija developed a fetish for inanimate objects and married the concrete structure in 1979. Her surname also means Berlin Wall in German and when the structure was brought down in 1989 she was in tears and said ,”What they did was awful. They mutilated my husband.”

“In an interview in The Telegraph she admitted that she felt some attraction for The Great Wall of China, but in 2008 her affection was beginning to shift towards a nearby garden fence” (Campobasso, 2018).

Eija-Ritta was later diagnosed with a condition called Objectum-Sexuality. Though she remained virgin as a human, she insists she has a full, loving relationship with the wall for having married the structure for more than 29 years now” (Giri).

2. A Man who Wedded a Video Game Character

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“In 2009 a Japanese otaku (a rabid fan of Japanese manga, anime and video games) found the love of his life in a handheld DS game. The man, known only by his gamer tag ‘SAL9000’ later went on to arrange an extravagant wedding ceremony with his pixelated wife-to-be, Nene Anegasaki from the Japanese dating simulation game Love Plus. Following their their honeymoon in Guam, SAL9000 admitted that he was somewhat nervous about introducing Nene to his family. Though SAL9000 may be the first to publicly announce his love for a video game character, he’s not the only one as others have also found their relationships with dating simulators as becoming increasingly real and serious” (Campobasso).

3. A Man who Married and Kissed His Dead Girlfriend

Chadil Deffy and Sarinya Kamsook

“Chadil Deffy and Sarinya Kamsook had plans to get married soon after Deffy completed his studies. But his life was devastated after he learned the news of Sarinya’s death in an accident even before the two finalized a date to tie the knot. But death could not beat his love. Deffy married his deceased girlfriend in a combination funeral and wedding ceremony where he placed a ring on Sarinya’s hand, his girlfriend of 10 years and kissed her in a ceremony in Thailand’s Surin province” (Giri).

4. A Woman Who Married Her Own Self

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The “39-year old Liu Ye reportedly chose to marry a life-size photograph of himself, wearing a red bridal gown, in the village square in Guanzhou, China at a ceremony in front of bewildered wedding guests and onlookers in 2007. Ye said that what led him to his decision to marry himself was a general “dissatisfaction with reality” and being “a little bit narcissistic”. Despite the bride being a photograph of the groom dressed in drag, the wedding is said to have otherwise followed standard Chinese customs and traditions” (Campobasso, 2018).

5. A Man who Married a Pineapple

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“Around 44 years ago Ulli Hopper, also known as the German popstar ‘Ramma Damma’ traveled to Gretna Green, a village on the Scottish border, in a Jaguar covered in AstroTurf. While he was there he claims to have taken his love for plants to the next level by proposing to a pineapple that he had bought from a fruit vendor for around £8.

Hopper told Metro Magazine that he named the pineapple ‘Tippi’ and that the two were married to each other by a craftsman wearing a kilt before traveling back home to Munich. According to Hopper it was a “fun away wedding”.

Despite the unconventional relationship between a human and a tropical fruit, the two lovers engaged in wholesome activities, like going to the cinemas. Hopper said that Tippi particularly enjoyed movies featuring earthquakes and when she got scared she sat in Hopper’s lap. They also enjoyed going to restaurants where Tippi the Pineapple enjoyed a glass of water over dinner” (Campobasso, 2018).

6. A Woman Who Married a Cobra

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in India, a 30-year old woman fell in love with and married a cobra in a traditional Hindu wedding in 2006 before 2,000 guests. According to the bride’s mother, the woman had previously been very sick and was only cured after offering milk to the snake.

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

References

Campobasso, P. (7 March 2018). The World’s Most Bizarre Relationships and Love Stories (with Non-Humans). Retrieved from https://pairedlife.com/misc/The-Worlds-Strangest-Relationships-and-Love-Stories-with-Non-Humans.

Giri, G. (n.d.). “10 Crazy Real Life Love Stories To Warm Your Heart”. Lifehack. Retrieved from https://www.lifehack.org/355978/10-crazy-real-life-love-stories-warm-your-heart.

Wales, G. (21 April 2011). “30 Weirdest Love Stories”. Gamesradar. Retrieved from https://www.gamesradar.com/30-weirdest-love-stories/.

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