Definition : an unofficial interesting story or piece
of news that might be true but likely to be invented,
which quickly spreads from person to person.
A rumour is very similar to a lie. However, where a lie has a definitive source, a rumour is unsubstantiated. People find it easier to discuss and spread rumours, absolving themselves of guilt by using the excuse that it may just be true. These people are known as rumour-mongers.
The latest rumour to cause a stir in forumland is the state of Goncalo Amaral's marriage. It was heralded overnight on one of the popular Madeleine forums as 'Have Goncalo and Sofia Separated?'... why this rumour was given it's own discussion thread which ran to several pages is another matter but it seems that the relationship status on a Facebook page prompted the discussion as Senor Amaral appeared to reveal himself as separado...
It didn't take long for the buzz to begin, questions here and there. Rumour abound, much speculation as the jungle drums beat in the background. Mouths frothed and stitches were dropped over on the mentally challenged Knitting Circle forum, as their resident maritime legal-beagle declared Sofia Leal "fair game" (to the three or four knitters who normally populate their threads).
At face value, it does sadly look as if the Amarals have separated. However, what about the other conflicting rumour circulating that this Facebook profile is fake and created by individuals simply to cause trouble? There are a couple of points to add colour to this particular rumour - neither his wife or children have confirmed him as family and it seems that Senor Amaral has vetted and added 900 friends in under 4 weeks.
A closer look reveals no posts to show before 14th February, has the account only recently been set up? And hark, is that a familiar name I see 'liking' the above post and giving a thumbs up? That woman certainly does get around (or so she says). Has the man suddenly become a techy wizard, and decided after almost 4 years to keep his follower's updated, not on his agenda or the case but of his relationship status? What to believe eh?!...
Should we take the word of the popular Portuguese moderator, close friend and confidente of Team Amaral? Always checking her sources and 'getting back' to us once she's confirmed things. This friend was so close, she had to ask if the 'separado' snippet was acurate. Would a close friend and confidente with their ear to the ground really have to ask? I question this because of the rumour doing the rounds that this moderator and her back-up posse are all 'in bed with the McCanns'...
Rumours over on another forum, of inacurate statements, sleepers and pot stirrers. On this forum, the lights are always on but there's nobody home... the absentee owner leaves things to run with the moderator who rules with an iron fist. Claims from this moderator that this Facebook group consists of invited friends only, is not a rumour but a blatant lie.
During times where news is either slow or non-existent, there will always be rumours. There have been many over the years which have simply died a death, from the swingers B&B in Lincolnshire to the common assault reported in a Leicestershire street. Whether the Amarals have separated or not, it has no bearing on the case, opinions and won't find Madeleine. Rumours, unless publicly declared or confirmed are nobody's business and should be taken with a large pinch of salt, not speculated upon.
Sadly this won't stop the rumour-mongers or those who take satisfaction from hearing and spreading bad news. Or those who are not who they claim to be.