There is no doubt that there exists an unofficial communication pipeline with questionable information merely to stir up controversy in the workplace. This can offer devastating results to every organization if not handled properly. It can not be eradicated. It is there as a means to be leveraged by toxic employees and managers to advance there economic and political interest.
I used to be at this high tech ERP Consulting firm that includes Accounting Software implementation, and there is one employee who always gets updated news ahead of everyone else. She starts spreading this unofficial information before the actual announcement. Her information is quite accurate but I suspect, the management is using her to stir controversies. But I view her as making the organization weaker and other bullying employees can leverage her situation and can fall victim and suffer major catastrophic consequences. She’s playing a dangerous game I must say.
Spreading out rumors can promote distrust and disrespect among employees and can become a major conflict and hinder growth and development of the organization. It should therefore be squelched fairly quickly to prevent people from getting hurt.
Tracing the source of the rumor can be easy using Social Networking Analysis(I heard this term while watch an episode of the tv series “Numb3rs”). Social network analysis [SNA] is the mapping and measuring of relationships and flows between people, groups, organizations, computers, URLs, and other connected information/knowledge entities. I don’t claim to be an expert on this subject so I advice you to just check what it is by googling the keyword “Social Networking Analysis” for further reading.