RUMOR-MONGERING WAS AT IT’S PEAK DURING THE RECENTLY CONCLUDED GENERAL ELECTIONS

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Papers piled up on the newsstands cannot find readers…

By Jerry Roker
For Bahamas Press

The Bahamas is a rumor-mongering society. Rumor-mongering is one of the mysteries of life that many find pleasure in doing. Fanned by the social media, rumor-mongering has been in constant over-drive in the country. It is obvious that most of the citizens will never be able to live without rumor, which thrives on sensational and salacious stories.

While it is difficult to understand the motivation of those who indulge in spreading rumors, the truth is, it is done to impress the public, to cause strife or to sabotage governments.

Some rumors are more vicious than others in that they could destroy relationships and the careers of individuals. Others can be quite ruinous to the government and to the country. While rumors have and will continue to be a part of life in The Bahamas, responding to them amounts to a damn if you do, damn if you don’t caravan. Many are of the view that they ought not to be dignified with a response from the government if they do not pose any serious threats to the nation.
Whether or not rumors originate from the opposition, they spread like wildfires and tend to take on a life of their own. They could make or break people, especially those public officials suspicious of alleged wrongdoings. However, the government’s public relations team should be more proactive in debunking rumors.

The previous government public relations team seemed incapable of debunking all the rumors thrown at them. This should be the remit of Bahamas Information Services, which seemed overmatched by the sheer number of rumors by the opposition.

Those in the opposition who love their country should resist the temptation to spread these rumors, although the job of the opposition is to create animosity against the government. The opposition should be more responsible because it is obvious that such rumors could cause growing concerns and heightened tensions among our citizens.

Rumors are not truths and cannot be prevented but the government should have an efficient public relations team in place to debunk those rumors that are considered detrimental to unity and to the country. The government must preserve all that is good.