Followers And Gossip, The Narcissist Smear Campaign

People follow along with gossips when they campaign against a target because humans tend to follow others. It takes a conscious and self-aware human being to NOT follow the lead of others, to stop and question, and look around, regarding pretty much anything.

When others around us watch a tv show, we tend to want to see what it is, and will often watch it too. When everyone goes to the fireworks..., it's what "everyone does", so everyone does it. When a lot of people we know like a particular song or band, we tend to go along with them, even if we didn't notice the band or like them at first.

If you want to see this in action right now, just watch the activity at popular restaurants, and compare that to the activity at less popular restaurants. Even if the wait is an hour or more, people will flock to the "popular" or "famous" restaurant, and they will do this at the BUSIEST time. They won't go to the less popular one where there is no wait, right down the street. They won't even change the time they go to the popular restaurant, and go at a much less busy time. They will go, and stay, where the CROWD is, because that's what everyone says is GOOD. If no one was in line at the famous pizza restaurant or burger joint, most people would just keep walking, they wouldn't even try the food there. "That place looks like a hole" they would say, and keep going. But put a waiting crowd in front of that same little "hole" of a burger or pizza joint, and that will get their attention.

If a lot of people seem to like a particular person, whether they're a local person we can meet, or someone who is distant that we haven't met, we tend to assume that there's a valid REASON they are popular, and we tend to want to be included in that group. We can actually make a person MORE ATTRACTIVE to ourselves just by believing that they are more attractive (or wiser, or stronger) just because we are following the crowd. If we met this person on the street, all by themselves, we might not even like them. But because we see all these other people treating them like they are "likeable", "wise", "beautiful", "talented", or "funny", we go right along with them.

If a person seems unpopular because others don't seem to treat them well, or others aren't following them, or others are ignoring or criticizing them, we tend to follow THAT, TOO. If no one seems to like Albert, then the only people who will be listening to and sitting with Albert are people who don't follow the crowd, who listen and get to know people for themselves. Who think for themselves.
When Albert became famous for his brilliant physics theory, it was because a rare, intelligent person who doesn't follow the crowd was listening to him.
After Albert became famous, suddenly all these people who didn't take him seriously at all, who wouldn't even sit with him at lunch because he wasn't "anybody important", all wanted to be included and associated with him. Those crowd-followers would not have helped him up if he had fallen down right in front of them before, but now that he looks popular, they all line up to pretend they were his friend all along.

And so it goes with gossips. Anyone who seems "popular" to crowd followers will be listened to and believed, and anyone who seems "unpopular" will be ignored and disrespected by crowd-followers. The gossip who is followed by crowd followers can easily spread the most ridiculous and vicious lies and rumors, because people who are followers will just eat it up with a spoon, and spread it around some more.
Crowd-followers don't STOP and say "Hey, that's not a nice thing to say, why are you trying to spread negative things about that person? And how do you know if it's even true?"
Also, the minute the target of this gossip is seen as "unpopular", even if it's BECAUSE of those rumors, crowd-followers will abandon that person. They will scatter like passengers jumping off a sinking ship, or more like FLEAS off of a dog in a bathtub. It is NOT RELEVANT to crowd-followers who did what, what the facts are, who is actually the person who did wrong or right, they DON"T CARE ABOUT FACTS OR REALITY. ALL they care about is who is POPULAR. That's who they will follow and believe.

This is a GROUP SOCIAL BEHAVIOR tendency, most group animals will follow whoever happens to appear to be the leader at the time. That's where the reference to LEMMINGS comes from, lemmings (small rodents, like mice), will follow the crowd literally right off a cliff. They are ALL FOLLOWING EACH OTHER, no one is actually LEADING, everyone assumes that someone ELSE is watching out for the cliff. This is unfortunately very similar to human group behavior, which is why there have been so many huge atrocities led by the psychotic throughout human history.

The behavior is the same whether it's in government, politics, in business, in religion, against religion, in academia, or in the community or home. Crowd followers follow the crowd, period, regardless of any facts or reality. And even many who THINK they are NOT crowd followers simply pick a DIFFERENT CROWD to follow. It's difficult for group animals to think for themselves. Humans have the capacity to think for themselves, but it's much easier and much less intellectual work, and much more social, superficial reward, to just go along with the crowd.