When Rumors Override Expert Opinions
On Friday, Bulgaria was shaken by an unprecedented informational attack on one of the country’s leading banks, First Investment Bank (FIB).
Thousands flocked to the bank’s offices to withdraw their savings. Over BGN 800 M were pulled out in a single day. Word was spreading quickly that FIB is facing bankruptcy.
Soon after, it was revealed that the bank had fallen victim to an organized attack, through SMS, emails, and Facebook messages urging clients to withdraw money. Banking and financial experts, as well as ruling politicians immediately assured the public that their deposits are safe, urging them not to succumb to anonymous threats.
Nonetheless, the domino effect of the rumor had been set in motion, and continued to circulate. Even those doubting the credibility of the news, cautiously posed the question, “Yes, but what if…?”
Such is the unfortunate state of the society we live in – plagued by doubts, mistrust, and the notion of “every man for himself”.
What is also alarming is the public propensity for sensationalism – and in this, the media plays a central role. Certain power-hungry politicians as well.
Until these trust issues are resolved, Bulgaria will continue to spiral in the tornado of rumors and panic.
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