- Rumor control center
Rumor control centers are public-service operations designed to help publicize true information (assuming, of course, that there is any such thing) in times of crisis, terrorist attack,
natural disaster, or civil disturbance. A major function is to operate a call center to respond to inquiries from concerned citizens, generally prompted either by rumors or a lack of information about what is happening. Permanent rumor control centers serve a specific, local population, and have often been set up in response to specific incidents.
Modern communications channels, such as local
Internetsites and regional 24-hour news channels may have begun to obviate the need for such operations. On the other hand, technologies like instant messaging, and text messaging, make it easier for alarming rumors to spread in times of crisis.
The city of
Baltimore, Marylandhas a permanent Rumor Control Center [http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.asp?id=3070] . Alachua County, Floridahas a Rumor Control Center which was activated in 1990, after the serial murders of five local college students [http://communityservices.alachua.fl.us/new/crisis/services.htm] .
The United States Community Relations Service (part of the Department of Justice) uses rumor control teams when mediating domestic racial conflicts [http://www.beyondintractability.org/m/rumor_control.jsp] .
IowaDepartment of Homeland Security has public emergency information distribution plans which include rumor control centers [http://www.iowahomelandsecurity.org/asp/programs/CoWideHazardplan/(08)%20Anx-d.doc] .
* [http://www.beyondintractability.org/m/rumor_control.jsp Rumor Control] - an extensive article from the Beyond Intractability Knowledge Base Project at the University of Colorado
* [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1906581 Rumor Control] - a discussion with the director of Baltimore's Rumor Control Center
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