Rumors mold public opinion, 82% Saudis agree: Study
RIYADH – Rumors have impact on Saudi society and can shape public opinion, according to the opinion of 82.9% participants of a study conducted by King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Sunday.
Only 17.1% of the people surveyed, which consisted of 1,049 respondents (740 male and 309 female), believed that rumors do not mold public opinion.
The sample was selected randomly using a special computer program. It covered all regions of the Kingdom. About 69.2% of participants agreed that rumors spread quickly while 23.1% said rumors spread fast but not so quickly while 7.7% maintained that rumors get passed slowly and only to certain sections of society.
Asked about the methods they employ to verify the truth, 50% respondents said they double check the information or news before circulating it. Others said they do not pass any information unless they have referred to the source. But 11% circulate rumors without checking the source.
About 50% of respondents said they have changed their opinion because of the impact of rumors on a certain issue or a person.