This study aimed to explain the attitudes of Iranian people toward rumors during the COVID-19 outbreak. Our findings revealed that social media, including WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, etc. as well as the national media such as IRI TV and radio, were the primary sources of the Covid-19 news for the participants. However, in contrast with other studies' findings, Twitter played no role in Iran's outbreak .
The participants less commonly used print media (1.3%) to obtain news about the COVID-19. This paradigm shift in consumers' behaviors lay in the innate features of these media platforms. In other words, the acquisition of information via social media platforms is more time-saving and less-costly, compared to the conventional news media such as newspapers or television. Besides, chatting and sharing the news with others is much easier on social media ; however, social media was also considered the primary source of misleading information for most participants (59.3%).
In general, the inferential statistics regarding the relationship between social factors and the attitudes toward the source of rumors in the media, the social networks, national media, and satellite are accused of forming rumors. To put it in similar words, the trust in news media and social media has dwindled . Despite China's studies during this SARS epidemic , Iran's national media have made efforts to present clear news responsively. However, community partnerships can prevent rumors, fear, and distrust , and this media should be closer to the people and the public sphere.
Socio/demographically, men are more likely than women to consider foreign media (P = 01) and social media (P = 00.8) as the sources of rumors. Regarding the rumors on the public health intervention, Kaler (2009) appeared that there's such skepticism regularly takes the shape of rumors around the thought processes or the comes about of the public health intervention. Theoretically, the widespread rumor of sterility is a way of broadly articulating the shared understandings about reproductive bodies, collective survival, and global asymmetries of power . This bio-power demonstrates the gender-based perceptions in this recent pandemic. The male participants in this study were doubtful of foreign spaces (foreign media and social media), which produce concepts to dominate the epidemic's social discourse.
Considering the participants' age, those in the age range of 30–50 years assumed rumors in social media (P = 0.001) and the web (P = 0.005). It seems that the age group above 50 years is less concerned with social networks and the web. The individuals are not skeptical of cyberspace below thirty years of age because of their more existential connections with cyberspace. The individuals in the age group of 30 to 50 years, on the one hand, more frequently use social media and the web. On the other hand, because they are not the generation of such a space, they hold a skeptical view toward these spaces and consider social media and the web as the rumor sources. The individuals aged below 30 years have a close relationship with these spaces and do not feel alienated in this context; therefore, they hold a positive attitude toward such spaces.
Increasing literacy levels has a significant relationship with attitudes toward rumors in national (P < 0.001) and foreign (P = 0.002) media. Afassinou (2014) showed that improving the population's education level catalyzes the rumor spreading termination process. In social networks, when people with a higher degree of education heard a rumor which is in serious conflict with his/her belief, he/she is easier to counterattack the rumor, and even do the best to prevent the rumor propagation . Our study showed that education does not affect the participants' attitude toward the rumors from social networks and the web; however, we also found out that the educated individuals are in a more problematic position than they are. They believe that both media outlets are spreading rumors. Due to the importance of the educated in such pandemics, the government must establish closer contact with such individuals via the national media and spare its trust-building efforts.
Regarding employment, the government employees believed that national media (P < 0.001) and foreign media (P = 0.009) produce rumors in pandemics, similar to the attitude held by the educated. Therefore, the authorities need to interact more with their employees and attract their trust in such situations. Considering the income status, the middle-income group with an income level equal to their expenses believed that national media (P = 0.009) and social media (P = 0.009) produce rumors. It seems that the critical view among the middle class is related to this perception. Further studies are recommended.
Rumors are critical in controlling pandemics. At times, journalists have both built and undermined open belief, serving as both a valuable source of logical realities and as a dangerous source of the rumor that tends to intensify freeze . Nowadays, modern media are a major source of news and data. One-third of the world population is engaged in social media, and two-thirds are entangled with the Internet . All these media, such as social media , print media  Twitter  can produce rumors.
On the other hand, social media also consists of ubiquitous health misinformation, which is described as information not obtained from the greatest accessible evidence by medical experts . Social media have become an effective and innovative channel for rumor propagation, and they influence not only people's lifestyles but also their thoughts and values . Nevertheless, according to a study by Singh et al. , while conversations about health issues, coronavirus, or the pandemic's origin tend to increase during the Covid-19 crisis, misinformation and myths are also argued at a lower volume. However, misinformation and rumors play a pivotal role in pandemics. The authorities should identify and amplify the help-seeking information, donations, and notifications required for the public and detect and counter the blames or rumors to improve crisis information publishing strategies in the future .
This study showed the necessity of making more social trust by authorities in pandemics. It should be noted that based on the experiences during this pandemic in Iran, a serious dilemma was formed between social network-satellite and national media. In the first phase of the Coronavirus pandemic, the foreign satellites worked hard to provide the news and analysis of the origins of the pandemic in Iran. This was because of the outbreak's coincidence and the national celebrations and elections in Iran. The news was soon republished on social media and virtual networks. The primary purpose was to accuse the government of a kind of political weakness and incompetence. This created skepticism in the public sphere and made the public doubt the national media. However, the politicians could solve part of this issue with solidarity and a focus on the national media. From the outset, the national media has been referred by the government as a source of news about the spread of COVID 19. A spokesman for the Ministry of Health announced the latest new cases, recovered cases, and deaths from COVID-19 at News 14:00 daily; thus, the national media gradually became the source of news about Corona's statistics. However, many journalists in this media spared their efforts to verify satellite and social media rumors and make the information clear. The study was conducted at the beginning of the outbreak, exactly when a duality was formed between national media on the one hand and satellite and social networks on the other.