Rumors Ruin TikTok , one the most famous social applications in the world and the most successful startup business, which is worth of 78 billion dollars. The Chinese app has been suffering from rumors that concern its security for about two years. The most recent potential damage for the app is the threat of banning it in the U.S. In fact, the app was already banned in India about a month ago. Besides, several countries and regions globally are carefully examining the security of the app, which might result in more bans (1st picture below). Thus, the rumors will further escalate whether in or outside TikTok, putting all stakeholders in problems, such as the management, employees, users, creators & followers. The U.S. believes that TikTok poses national security threat because of the assumption that the Chinese Government might get access to the stored private data & information of TikTok American users. Despite the tremendous efforts of TikTok to manage and counteract these rumors, it can’t eliminate them because rumors are integral in the business world. This session highlights (Informal Communication) as part of the topics of the last 2 parts in the 4th & last book (Organizations: Behavior, Structure & Processes – 2012) , which was introduced before, within the 1st Year Program in the service of (Global English Management & Leadership Books) in your channel (Management with Merits – Manage to Prosper). Other topics in these two chapters were discussed before in our previous books, such as Organizational Structure, Communication & Decision Making. Only one topic was not discussed before, which is (Chapter 13: Work Design) because it will be highlighted in (Human Resource Management) Book, one of the future books in the channel (2nd picture below). To access our related sessions, as well as download the associated presentation (PDF), kindly go to the video at our YouTube Channel and click on the appropriate link in the description section below the video.
Rumors Ruin TikTok – What is the Origin?
The Rumors that ruin Tiktok don’t have specific origin, and this is the nature of rumors in general. As per our book, rumors are unverified beliefs that circulate in or out of the organization. The rumors about the security breaches and problems of TikTok have been circulating for more than two years. Apart from some technical evidence about this matter, the U.S.A. goes deeply further in this matter by the assumption that TikTok can be used by the Chinese Government to reveal the stored private data & information about its American users. Thus, we can see that despite the vagueness of the origin of such rumors, they escalate rapidly and generate new and more severe ones. This puts the management of TikTok, as well as other stakeholders, under strong stress. According to research, it is estimated that there are more than 33 million rumors in the U.S. businesses alone (D. Roth, “10 Companies That Get It: Southwest Airlines,” Fortune, November 8, 1999). Therefore, the management can’t eliminate rumors. However, it should manage them carefully and restrict their circulation, given that the more rumors escalate, the more they get hardened. For instance, despite the repetitive assurance and statements by TikTok management with respect to the privacy and security of data and the app, the rumors continue to escalate and fossilize. Consequently, the app faces the continuation of ban decisions from several countries.
Informal Communication – The Grapevine :
The Grapevine is a term used to describe informal communication in & outside organizations. Communication is simply the transfer and comprehension of meanings. In organizations, there are two types of communication: formal and informal. While formal communication follows clear paths and ways within the organizational structure (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, etc), informal communication doesn’t. The messages go hastily and randomly through the grapevine, similar to the way a real grapevine looks like. This is one of the explanations of the term (grapevine) with respect to informal communication. The messages are simply rumors. They are integral in our lives, so they occur in countries, governments, businesses, groups, families and individuals. The grapevine is extremely powerful. Research shows that 75% of the grapevine is true (A. Ross, No Caller: The Human Workplace and Its Hidden Costs (Philadelphia: Temple University, 2004)). Therefore, whether it’s TikTok, which suffers from rumors that might ruin the business, or any other business, or even each and all of us, we should be very careful if something is heard (through the grapevine). We should accept it as a fact and try managing them carefully.
Rumors Ruin TikTok – Types of Rumors:
TikTok mostly suffers from negative rumors. As per our book, there are four types of rumors, three negative (Bogie, Wedge Driver, Home-stretcher) and one positive (Pipe Dreams or Wish Fulfillment). Bogie rumors cause fear and anxiety, such as the fear of TikTok management from the possible acquisition of the app from the American giant (Microsoft), as per the below picture. Wedge Driver rumors are the most dangerous ones for any company, and they are usually a result of hatred. For example, some specialists believe that the U.S. wants to ban TikTok not because of security problems, but the political agenda and problems with China. That’s why the CEO of ByteDance (TikTok’s mother company) stated that Trump’s goal was to entirely remove TikTok app. Last, Home-stretcher rumors result from anticipating something to happen very soon, usually a negative one. For example, TikTok users have started looking for different ways to stay connected with their followers via utilizing other social media platforms because they anticipate the ban to become real. With respect to positive rumors, they relate to the wish that something good might happen. For example, rumors might circulate that a pay raise is about to occur. To conclude, rumors are very effective and should be dealt with carefully.
Final Thoughts :
Finally, we’d like to express our sincere condolences for the disastrous explosion which occurred in Beirut (Lebanon) last Tuesday. Mercy and prayers to all casualties, and we hope speedy recovery for injured. We are sure that Lebanon will get through this catastrophe promptly and become better and more prosperous.
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