Rumour spreading affects how rational individuals assess risks and evaluate needs; it particularly affects authorities making decisions in emergency affected environments. Conversely, authority response to emergencies will influence public opinion. A simple model to describe the interplay between rumour-spreading and authority actions in emergency situations based on utility theory is discussed. By drawing from differential equations, it was possible to minimise negative social utility of rumour-spreading to control emergency situations. At the same time, authority proactive actions can improve rumour management in emergency situations, yielding positive social utility. Strategies for authorities which contribute to rumour management in an emergency event are given.
Authors: Huo, Liang-an; Huang, Peiqing; Fang, Xing ;Full Source: Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 2011, 390(20), 3267-3274 (Eng) ;