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Jobs Rumor Debacle Besmirches Citizen Journalism

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the unverified-is-not-the-same-as-unfiltered dept.

The Media 286

On Friday someone posted a false rumor that Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack on CNN's unverified citizen journalism site, iReport. Apple's stock price went vertical, losing 9% before Apple stepped in and denied the rumor; the stock then recovered most of its loss. The SEC is investigating. PCWorld looks at the hit taken by citizen journalism as a result of this incident. "[The] increasingly blurred line between journalism and rumor is a serious concern for Al Tompkins, the broadcast/online group leader at The Poynter Institute — a specialized school for journalists of all media forms. 'How could you possibly allow just anybody to post just anything under your [CNN] label unless you have blazing billboards that say, "None of this has been verified, we've not looked at any of this, we have no idea if this is true"?' he asks."

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vertical meaning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268045)

vertical as in down? huh?

The Case Against Barack Hussein Obama (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268391)

Obama will castrate our military and destroy our nuclear deterrent.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxL8NcNACBY [youtube.com]

He will tax corporations and high income earners that employ the population of the US, which will force them to cut jobs and send the unemployment rate skyrocketing.
http://obama.3cdn.net/b7be3b7cd08e587dca_v852mv8ja.pdf [3cdn.net]

He sees dead people.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=galtZF0nKYc [youtube.com]

He wants to take the guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, leaving us at the mercy of criminals.
http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/barack_obama_gun_control.htm [ontheissues.org]

He'll cut and run from Iraq, knocking the legs out from under the Iraqi government as they are finally finding their footing.
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/ [barackobama.com]

He believes homosexuals are entitled to more rights than straight people.
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/23/debate.transcript/index.html [cnn.com]

He believes in mob rule concerning criminal punishment.
The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p. 58

He refuses to call terrorists "terrorists" even when presented with evidence.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15251928 [npr.org]

He will prevent us from keeping sensitive materials confidential, which will place national security at risk.
http://www.cfr.org/publication/14356/ [cfr.org]

He would talk with terrorist countries without demanding that they cease their efforts to murder innocent people and abide by the rule of law.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3Oj7Jn9rv4 [youtube.com]

He believes we should reward people who ignore the existence of a country's sovereignty and illegally enter the country instead of forcing them to abide by the law.
http://obama.senate.gov/news/060923-sen_obama_at_to/index.php [senate.gov]

He believes the government should regulate the internet.
http://obama.senate.gov/podcast/060608-network_neutral/index.php [senate.gov]

He believes in making those who have money pay for the healthcare of those who do not have money.
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/healthcare/ [barackobama.com]

He believes we should take corn, a staple food for the US, and use it for ethanol production, which will cause shortages in food supply and produce car exhaust that is more dangerous to humans than gasoline burning cars.
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2007/01/05/new_us_congress_looks_to_boost_alternate_fuels/?p1=MEWell_Pos5 [boston.com]

He believes that parents should have no choice but to send their children to government run schools to be indoctrinated by sub-standard teachers.
http://www-news.uchicago.edu/citations/04/041027.obama-ct.html [uchicago.edu]

In short, he's an anti-American, anti-military Marxist who will destroy the US before he can be voted out of office. I don't like McCain and I have problems with many of his positions, but he will, at the very least, keep the US from crashing and burning within the next 4 years (provided the Dems don't win Congress).

And no, he's not a Muslim (as far as we know). He's not black (he's bi-racial). He's not a Christian (against everything Christians believe in). He's not a foreign-born Manchurian candidate (born in Hawaii and he's telling everyone how he'll kill the country).

Terrorists regimes around the world have said that they want Obama to be president. Would you take advice from people who want to kill you and elect the person they want elected?

Re:The Case Against Barack Hussein Obama (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268481)

Deal with it and get over it. If the Republicans had an ounce of competence and a shred of integrity, Obama wouldn't stand a chance.

Re:The Case Against Barack Hussein Obama (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268533)

Let's be honest here. Barack Obama will be the next president. However, once he's elected and has to do more than just read of a teleprompter, his popularity will drop to the point that there will be a republican majority in congress in 2010. At that point, gridlock will occur and everyone wins. At this point, the best thing he could do is die in a plane crash/be assassinated. Expectations for him are so high that he has to fail.

If by some chance John McCain does win, he'll enact the same liberal policies as Barack Obama (the exception being Iraq), however, there won't be anyone opposing him.

Someone is going to get into trouble (5, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268047)

The stock manipulation possibilities here are pretty big, as is the lawsuit potential.

Re:Someone is going to get into trouble (2, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268087)

Lawsuit or criminal? When I think of lawsuits I think of civil proceedings. IANAL or anything but wouldn't intentionally tanking the stock of a company via unsubstantiated rumor be criminal? (I don't really know so I'm asking 'cause someone here should surely know.)

Re:Someone is going to get into trouble (5, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268125)

CmdrTaco is dead. Sell SourceForge now.

An unsubstantiated rumor is merely an attempt to manipulate a stock, it takes an idiot or ten to actually do it.

Re:Someone is going to get into trouble (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268205)

actually, that would probably increase the stock price.

Re:Someone is going to get into trouble (4, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268235)

...wouldn't intentionally tanking the stock of a company via unsubstantiated rumor be criminal?

It better not be. It's up to the actual traders to verify unsubstantiated statements such as this before taking any action. Restrictions on speech have already gone way too far.

Re:Someone is going to get into trouble (0, Offtopic)

Shrike9 (585789) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268327)

And maybe it will be Dirty Harry Reid -- for doing the same thing: opens mouth, inserts both feet and falls on his ass. Check this out http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/03/news/companies/insurance_stocks/?postversion=2008100308 [cnn.com] He and others of his ilk are mostly to blame for the mess we're in now. We ought to fire all of our congress critters and pull names out of the phone book. Probably get more for our tax dollars then.

Re:Someone is going to get into trouble (1)

turtleAJ (910000) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268455)

Someone is going to get into trouble

Fine fine!

I'm sorry.
I won't do it again.
Promise.

Re:Someone is going to get into trouble (1)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268461)

I note that this is the third time in a month 4chan's antics have made front-page news, and not in a good way. I wonder if the backlash is coming.

Re:Someone is going to get into trouble (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268469)

"The stock manipulation possibilities here are pretty big, as is the lawsuit potential."

I dunno...didn't they put a ban on selling short? That would have been nice in this case, but, I think they've banned it at least for now...

Re:Someone is going to get into trouble (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268495)

It would have been easy enough to start the rumor, wait for the stock to dive, then buy some. There was no need to sell short in this case, because the rumor starter could be pretty sure the stock would recover when it was revealed to be false.

BUT, the person who started the rumor only gets in trouble if he or she DID buy Apple stock when it fell. Otherwise it's just CNN being irresponsible by letting random, anonymous strangers post "news" and everyone else being idiots for believing it.

Hmm... (2, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268051)

Hell? Even 4chan and Slashdot are pretty clear about who owns the comments and the veracity of the comments.

Re:Hmm... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268141)

Slashdot's resident puppet master, tangible legend and troll extraordinaire totally nailed it.

According [slashdot.org] to him, it's all... wait for it... Microsoft's fault!

I guess paranoia is special for each kind of special person.

Re:Hmm... (5, Funny)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268577)

"Hell? Even 4chan and Slashdot are pretty clear about who owns the comments and the veracity of the comments."

That's why they are my primary news sources.

Responsibility, Risks, Filters (4, Informative)

colganc (581174) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268055)

People with the burden and responsibility of thinking for theirselves will be able to assess the risks of trusting an unknown information source just fine. New filters have already been created to make the unknown sources trustable. I don't understand why their is an investigation. Now the story has publicity people can assess the risks more correctly. No need for the law to get involved.

Re:Responsibility, Risks, Filters (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268383)

>>I don't understand why their is an investigation....

Because a lie caused lots of people to lose money on Apple stock. People can think for themselves, but they do so based on facts, not lies. The SEC should get involved and the person that turned the phrase 'citizen journalism' into an oxymoron can get what they deserved for the consequences of their falsehood. I just with the SEC could punish the roadkill they call golden parachuted, ex-Wall Street CEOs.

Re:Responsibility, Risks, Filters (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268439)

On the other end though, there are tons of Mac rumor websites that paint Apple in a very favorable light, by saying all kinds of unverified things that could cause Apple's stock to skyrocket. Such as new models of iPods, Macs, new releases of iTunes, etc.

Re:Responsibility, Risks, Filters (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268513)

Consider the sources.

One is a CNN 'citizen journalist site'.

The other are acknowledged fanbois (Apple spawns both admirers and detractors with a lot of obfuscation and delusion-- and market share).

There's the burden of responsibility on a 'citizen journalist' site that wouldn't be held in value if say, it was a Britney fan site. Product features and people's imagination are one thing, but declaring that a CEO has had a heart attack after that same CEO's been in the news with pancreatic cancer, is an out and out lie. There's a reason that there are libel and slander laws, and also SEC regulations about statement that affect stock prices. Rumors can build up a stock price, it's true. If you pimp something, you're not slandering it or libeling it should the price of the stock (or reputation) go up. Going the other direction causes loss, however.

Who cares? It's just news (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268057)

Ace Frehley is rolling over in his grave at this trumped up story.

CNN has no responsibility to police its message boards. Just like Slashdot has no responsibility to do so here either.

Who cares? It's just moderation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268195)

"CNN has no responsibility to police its message boards. Just like Slashdot has no responsibility to do so here either."

Right! [slashdot.org]

Hoaxing and pranking != journalism (-1, Troll)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268059)

Unfortunately it is very hard to tell on the www. Anyone who feels besmirched is taking themselves too seriously.

Same deal for the "citizen scientists" who prove that cell phones cook eggs and pop corn.

Or the "citizen paparazzi" that use photoshop to make nude pics of various actresses.

Or wikipedia,...

Re:Hoaxing and pranking != journalism (2, Insightful)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268223)

Or wikipedia,...

Nice, you successfully called Wikipedia a hoax and a prank without actually saying it. Like anything else, if you trust the material on Wikipedia to be true, you're going to get burned eventually. I for one use it as a starting point if I really need to research something, but never as a source itself.

Re:Hoaxing and pranking != journalism (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268443)

I for one use it as a starting point if I really need to research something, but never as a source itself.

And this is precisely why Wikipedia forbids to accept original research and unverified claims. Those are marked with [citation needed] tags.

From Wikipedia's article on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

Co-founder Jimmy Wales stresses that encyclopedias of any type are not usually appropriate as primary sources, and should not be relied upon as authoritative.[55]

[55] # ^ Helm, Burt (2005-12-14). "Wikipedia: "A Work in Progress"" [businessweek.com] , BusinessWeek. Retrieved on 2007-01-29.

And this is why I don't take the "Professor Wikipedia" [collegehumor.com] video as an insult to wikipedia, but as educational humour.

Re:Hoaxing and pranking != journalism (3, Funny)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268303)

really? you should watch fox more

iReport - News? Or citizen journalism? (4, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268067)

How could you possibly allow just anybody to post just anything under your [CNN] label unless you have blazing billboards that say

Which part of "CNN's unverified citizen journalism site" was unclear?

Okay, so I have to see for myself...

The site currently is titled "Unedited. Unfiltered. News." [ireport.com] but it really doesn't mention that it is "citizen journalism." It looks like a cross between Digg/Slashdot and CNN. SO I guess someone could be confused. But I bet a big "THIS IS NOT NEWS I JUST MADE IT UP OMG!!" would not have helped Apple's stock that day.

Re:iReport - News? Or citizen journalism? (4, Insightful)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268109)

The problem isn't that's unedited unfiltered, that just means there may be naughty words and curses in it. It should be "unfiltered and unverified" news. A quick look @ the website, even scrolling down, shows no disclaimer that this unverified. Breaking news is fine, so I understand not wanting to take the time to verify, but there should be a disclaimer that it's unverified. And until this story on here, I never heard of it. So I may have taken something on there for fact had I stumbled on it by accident or via google search.

Re:iReport - News? Or citizen journalism? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268355)

Riiiight, much as how /. should have a big disclaimer saying that most things aren't 100% verified, or Engadget, or any other news site. People should be smart enough to figure out the fact from the fiction, and honestly, I don't see how Steve's death is going to make you want to sell your Apple stock, and absolutely not on simply a rumor, just as I won't go out and buy 1000 shares of Apple stock whenever there are "pictures" of the new iPod.

Re:iReport - News? Or citizen journalism? (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268483)

Well, if Jobs moved on, then there would be a management shake up at Apple, which could mean things would be different, either good or bad. Change doesn't go well with people, so I can see them selling out of uncertainty. Slashdot links to articles that have at least been somewhat researched, of you'll see interviews with people which means questions were asked.

Re:iReport - News? Or citizen journalism? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268519)

You must be new-ish here. While it is true that a lot of /. articles are reputable, a lot of others are small blogs or websites that no one has any way of verifying if they are true or not. For all most people know, I could have made up an entire interview, added in a good domain name, and a decent layout and people might actually believe me.

Re:iReport - News? Or citizen journalism? (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268565)

If it's something interesting to me, I actually search for things in his interview and see if it's quoted elsewhere. I've been doing that a lot actually w/ the Raiders coach mess because quotes are being misquoted over and over, and I want to try to get the context as much as I can. I don't ever read slashdot interviews. If I must read a blog, I'll follow a link or 2 to make sure it's reputable, and if there are no links, I close the tab.

Re:iReport - News? Or citizen journalism? (2, Insightful)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268453)

It should be "unfiltered and unverified" news. A quick look @ the website, even scrolling down, shows no disclaimer that this unverified. Breaking news is fine, so I understand not wanting to take the time to verify, but there should be a disclaimer that it's unverified. And until this story on here, I never heard of it. So I may have taken something on there for fact had I stumbled on it by accident or via google search.

So if you stumbled on some random "news" site on the net you'd automatically assume it was verified news? That sounds pretty naive to me. Do you assume everything you read on Slashdot is verified by the editors? iReport.com makes no claim that the stories are verified and the connection to CNN is fairly subtle (a small faint "powered by CNN" logo at the bottom and an ad stating that iReport stories had been used on CNN). I don't see any reason to assume that the stories on that site are verified. The "about" page, which seems the obvious place to go to find out what verification is done clearly states up front that it is unverified:

The views and content on this site are solely those of the iReport.com contributors. CNN makes no guarantees about the content or the coverage on iReport.com!

Re:iReport - News? Or citizen journalism? (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268525)

No. I expect the articles linked are verified. If it's a blog, I don't even bother reading usually. Yay! The disclaimer is on the about page. It should be on the MAIN page. I feel Cnet or Associated Press or other mainstream news outlets do some research. If you look @ some of the stories I've posted and got accepted, I link to actual news sites. Sometimes, I even double check other articles from other people before I read the summary and comment, just to make sure it's not something someone saw somewhere off the beaten path.

But, I guess that's just me. Call it naive if you want. But if I'm gonna discuss something, I like to have as many facts as I can and know that it's at least been researched at least a little bit or reported in more than once place.

Re:iReport - News? Or citizen journalism? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268517)

That heading sounds like Firehose on Slashdot. I'd expect it to be an unedited feed from CNN's correspondents. Not completely random crap.

Re:iReport - News? Or citizen journalism? (1)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268651)

The good news is, continued antics like this are going to make Jobs bullet-proof. It's the "boy who cried wolf" scenario: pull this prank enough times and nobody will ever believe that Jobs has died, even if he actually does.

Besmirches? Dig a hole... (2, Insightful)

djupedal (584558) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268079)

Wait until Apple's (liti)gators surface - CNN will wish that 'besmirched' was the extent of the damage.

not a problem with citizen journalists... (4, Insightful)

inzy (1095415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268081)

...but with the financial system. maybe we should be looking instead at how vast sums of money can be moved into and out of a company in seconds? episodes like this have shown the instability of the share market, and the craziness of the finance market. everything is built upon smoke and mirrors - performance counts for little, while perception, lies and marketing rule the day

and why are the traders who sold off their shares paying attention to unverified sources like ireport? well, probably because the trader next to them did; it's all got to a point of 'following the herd' rather than making decisions based on financial judgement.

90% of trades based on speculation? what do you expect?

Re:not a problem with citizen journalists... (4, Insightful)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268359)

maybe we should be looking instead at how vast sums of money can be moved into and out of a company in seconds?

This depends on whether it was a pure volume move or a price move - "vertical" drops are generally price moves, where someone will put in a ludicrously low offer price - which is snapped up, and records as a massive down-tick on the traded price graph. Once a couple of trades are made at a low price, the bids are going to stay low and force offers lower. Voila, price drop.

Exchanges have protections to stop ridiculous offer prices from gaming the system, but I guess 10% isn't outside their parameters.

and why are the traders who sold off their shares paying attention to unverified sources like ireport? well, probably because the trader next to them did; it's all got to a point of 'following the herd' rather than making decisions based on financial judgement.

The trader is probably hoping that he's not following the herd - hoping for a time advantage by hanging out at the 'fast-moving' frontiers of 'news'. Watch for a twitter-induced stock drop next.

the only problem is the word citizen. (1)

acidrain (35064) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268473)

I mean would you be "besmirching" an anonymous coward? Oh, by the way AMD cannot get credit and is going to loose it's fabrication contracts. You heard it on slashdot first!!!

Re:not a problem with citizen journalists... (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268635)

This is the most, concise, best economic theory that I have ever heard. The sad thing is that's why we need a $700 billion bailout. People are afraid to think for themselves.

Fear and greed (2, Interesting)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268107)

If I recall even the article writer wasn't sure it was true and said as much. It's typical of the stock market to rise and fall on the possibility of something happening. I'm surprised Apple's stock isn't in the toilet already -- they must think Steve Jobs is immortal...

Re:Fear and greed (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268137)

Yes - if so many people are obviously concerned about Steve Jobs dying, then perhaps they should sell their stock while they're ahead?

Re:Fear and greed (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268159)

Well, some investors have already practiced at this sort of thing [gawker.com] .

A fool and his money are very quickly parted. I mean really sheeples, lay off the triple shot espresso. Stock markets aren't supposed to be a first person shooter.

iReport? (0)

neuromanc3r (1119631) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268123)

Oh, the iRony...

Breaking news (2, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268139)

This is just in, Microsoft is filling for bankruptcy.

Phew, a chance I just coincidentally bought a shitload of puts [wikipedia.org] on MSFT. Market prediction? Fuck that, it's easier to predict the weather when you know how to make shit start to rain.

Re:Breaking news (0, Troll)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268325)

Really, i bet if somebody rumored Ballmer died of a [strike]chair[/strike]stroke their stock would go vertical too, just in the otherway.

the nobama effect (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268155)

Honestly, obama should credit his entire campaign to this type of reporting and the inability or unwillingness of real journalists to ask honest, tough questions about him. be afraid. be very afraid.

Re:the nobama effect (0, Offtopic)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268311)

s/obama/mccain/g
s/obama/bush/h s/campaign/presidency/g

Not understanding why this is an issue (5, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268161)

So this, like the previous wikipedia story basically hinge on the fact that people -- who should really know much better -- are believing stuff they read on the internet from dubious sources. (anything on Wikipedia is likely to be dubious at least to some degree)

You believe stuff you read on the internet, you get burned, quel surprise?

It ain't karma, it's just stupidity. It is admittedly disturbing -- and yet unsurprising considering recent world financial events -- that the stupidity in question in this case involves people who work in the stock market.

Re:Not understanding why this is an issue (4, Interesting)

Robert1 (513674) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268293)

I don't think people care so much about the stock brokers who stupidly sold because they believe what they read on the internet. The problem is everyone else who is losing money for no reason other then owning the same stock a small group of idiotic investors.

It seems highly unreasonable that a company can lose tens of millions (hundreds? billions?) on random investors being retarded. The real victim here is the companies and their employees.

There was a story a month back about google news accidentally running a 2 year old article about an airline filing for bankruptcy. Within a few hours the company had lost several BILLION dollars - poof - evaporated. BECAUSE OF A COMPUTER GLITCH ON A NEWS SITE. The company did not do anything wrong, had made no dramatic business decisions, had not had their entire fleet blow up, yet was royally fucked because investors didn't bother to check their sources.

So the ultimate question is how do you prevent shit like this from happening? I have no idea, I really can't conceive of anyway to regulated the behavior of traders when it comes to false news stories. More depressingly, the ability for these things to occur illustrates a fundamental - unfixable - flaw in the current method of stock exchange. Again, a problem for which I can't think of any workable replacement.

Re:Not understanding why this is an issue (3, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268309)

How does anyone who didn't panic and sell during the temporary low spot actually lose any money?

Re:Not understanding why this is an issue (1)

Robert1 (513674) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268349)

The stock never corrects (in the short term that is) back to baseline following a sell-off like this.

Re:Not understanding why this is an issue (1, Redundant)

CrazedWalrus (901897) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268435)

Given recent events, how do you know it's temporary?

A big problem when these companies started toppling was that everybody was a little shocked and thought it was a glitch, temporary, whatever, and you saw seemingly infallible companies fail or sell in a matter of days. What's happened is that now as soon as people start seeing a stock drop sharply, they sell first and ask questions later.

Have you seen steve? Emaciated! (1)

Eganicus (1374269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268173)

He had pancreatic cancer 4 years ago... and recently had "some" surgery ( which implies it is not cancer ) and he dropped a LOT of weight. Some say the whipple ( surgery to reroute around pancreas) could be the culprit. What would Apple be like without him? Last time, it was significantly less than good.

Re:Have you seen steve? Emaciated! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268225)

I thought it was the Karma from the way Woz was treated and the way Jobs treated the Newton.

The idea of a Corporation is that it can keep existing without founders. Is the Corporation a bad model for apple?

Perspective (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268175)

Oh come on!

A concert of the entire Western media trumpeted an impending attack by weapons of mass destruction. We were 45 minutes away from having our major cities razed to the ground. On that basis we embarked on a calamitous war causing millions of deaths, destroying the oldest civillisation on Earth and ultimately resulting in the decline of a major superpower and gutting the global economy.

I don't think exaggerated rumours by one voice about Steve Jobs really hold a candle to the tragedy resulting from systematic disinformation.

Perhaps the reporter also had 'bad intelligence'.

Well... (4, Interesting)

Chas (5144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268185)

As one of a group who received a C&D from a game company over a CLEARLY labelled April Fool's Day joke about a decade back, on a hobby site where we REALLY weren't monitoring who our traffic was (thinking "Us and all of our NO readers"). Turns out the site had become a news dissemination portal for various game retailers, and when they viewed the joke page, they panicked before actually reading the WHOLE page and called the game company up to freak out at.

Re:Well... (3, Interesting)

TeamSPAM (166583) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268567)

Hey Chas-
And here a link [archive.org] to said April Fool's joke.

"besmirch" (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268189)

That word always makes me laugh.

Re:"besmirch" (3, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268529)

it besmirks you, then?

actually (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268197)

What it "besmirches" is (1) stock speculation and people who fall for that and (2) companies that are propped up by irrational exuberance and illusions.

Are you sure? (1)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268203)

The SEC is investigating.

Well, that's just a link to another blog. Why would I trust a blogger to tell me that some blogger is being investigated by the SEC for misleading blogging? Oh wait, it's got a link to a bloomberg.com article. But who wrote that one? Connie Guglielmo? Who's that? Is she another "citizen journalist"? Hmmm... dunno. Well, at least her posting consists of something more than "I heard from a friend who's, like, totally reliable."

Re:Are you sure? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268343)

Oh wait, it's got a link to a bloomberg.com article.

Bloomberg? Oh, well. Totally reliable, then. After all, they would never "accidently" republish an old story about Jobs being dead.

Regular journalists are no better. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268213)

Please, the presumption that this only happens because of "citizen" journalists is comical in face of all the intentional distortions, spin, bias, poor fact checking, and general incompetence of the general media.

Most columnists have such big axes to grind that that's all they are... a walking talking cause. Most of the reporters are both sloppy and lazy. Most of the anchors and tv personalities are just talking heads... mindless twits with million dollar smiles and/or the ability to spin like a quasar.

Citizen journalists are if anything worse however unlike regular journalists they've not given the benefit of the doubt on issues. When they report something we need verification. That is the value of citizen journalists. They're good because we don't trust them. If we could all be as dubious of regular journalists then they'd have some value. But we do trust them... and that leaves us open to deceit.

Nonsense. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268219)

Seriously, investors knock 10% off the value of Apple's stock because somebody anonymously posted a rumor on the internet and this is "citizen journalism"'s fault? Bullshit. Is everybody who falls for a 419 scam also a black eye for citizen journalism? By these standards, every time a political campaign inserts a letter to the editor under a false name, the very foundations of the mainstream media are called into question. This is idiocy.

Ok people, I know that those of you who get to write for the real media want this to be important, it isn't, suck it up. Anyway, repeat after me: "Anybody can say anything on the internet, this doesn't make it true."

Re:Nonsense. (4, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268263)

Seriously, investors knock 10% off the value of Apple's stock because somebody anonymously posted a rumor on the internet and this is "citizen journalism"'s fault? Bullshit.

Right, they're gamblers instead of investors. The reliance on brand-new unverified stories is so they can guess what everyone else will do, and do it first.

Re:Nonsense. (2, Interesting)

cryptoluddite (658517) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268441)

Right, they're gamblers instead of investors.

Which is why a tax on trades is in order. Make the cost to play to gamble on stock high enough that people don't do it, but the cost to invest longer term still pays. People don't professionally gamble because most of the games are rigged in favor of the house -- over the long term you can't win against the house by gambling. Stock gambling should be the same way.

I believe the democrats suggested this for part of the bailout bill. I think it was shot down though as part of a 'compromise'.

Re:Nonsense. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268543)

I really hope citizen journalism hasn't become the very foundations of mainstream media. Nor letters to the editor, for that matter.

A high profile citizen journalism story that is a lie gives citizen journalism a black eye. Of course, citizen journalism was already a rotting corpse floating in sewage, so the black eye really is just par for the course.

Trust but verify (5, Insightful)

AEton (654737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268245)

Guys, this is not new.

Some people on /b/ spent an hour early Friday morning discussing how they could make up a rumor that people were likely to believe, just for the lulz. Eventually, and basically by accident, someone decided that a Steve Jobs rumor would work just fine. He posted a fake but almost plausible story on iReport and digg ("I just saw paramedics take Steve Jobs away, he had a heart attack!") and got hundreds or thousands of /b/ users to Digg it.

I saw this conversation happening live. It's pretty cool that tens of thousands of random anonymous people can change world markets, huh?

The story was obviously fake, and any careful reader of Digg would've immediately noticed the 4chan references in the comments. Naturally there were no careful readers; blogs which have never been very good about checking their sources reported the joke as a real rumor, and small parts of the "real media" started to pick up the story.

The beleaguered stock hit its 52-week low on Friday, although it regained some value after Apple issued an official denial. The SEC has demanded (and received) docs from CNN on the /b/tard who submitted the iReport story.

There's nothing new here, guys. Real media have always known that you need to trust your sources, and if the free market and the "new media" blogs can't figure that out, they're dumber than we give them credit for.

Re:Trust but verify (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268493)

rules 1 and 2 dude...

I heard ebaumsworld did it.

Re:Trust but verify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268581)

Hey! Rules 1 and 2. We would so ban you if we weren't all anonymous. Shit. Should have thought that part out better.

Re:Trust but verify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268637)

Come on man, you know there are no mods anyway.

Hurting speculators is good. (5, Insightful)

randomc0de (928231) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268269)

The Bloomberg/Google slipup a while back also caused large-scale losses, in that instance to United Airlines. Bloomberg actually stated that it does not verify the accuracy of news from other sources. Basically, it trusted Google to do the verification.

This is actually the way it should be. Using automated trading and real-time news to speculate on the stock market should, on average, lose you money. It gives negative inducement to speculation. Investments need to be chosen based on real data, and concrete value. Not based on what you think others will do.

If this is a legitimate case of attempted manpulation, the SEC can do its job. If not, it's a small loss that should have been factored into any risk calculations when the investors decided to trade like this.

Shorting Stocks (1, Offtopic)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268277)

At some point, they need to make shorting stocks illegal. I'm not an economist and I'm sure one will be happy to point out some perfectly valid reason for shorting stocks to be permitted but, I'm sorry, the ability to short stocks results in far too much outright stock manipulation in a very negative way that hurts even a healthy economy (and we all know how far from healthy this economy is...).

Re:Shorting Stocks (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268419)

If stocks had been shorted more enthusiastically in the past, the current speculative bubble would not have grown so large in the first place. To suggest that stock-shorting should be made illegal is to argue that the bubble should be allowed to continue to grow, maintaining the illusion of economic performance.

Re:Shorting Stocks (1)

smellotron (1039250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268603)

You don't need to be an economist, you just have to look at the visible effect of the most recent short-sale ban. The result for all of the instruments that couldn't be short-sold? Many players pulled out because the inability to sell short would have put them at too much risk. The markets thinned out, and the difference between the best bid and the best offer widened up because the few remaining players were on high guard. The result for average investors? Basically, higher transaction costs, since you have to buy high and sell low.

There's definitely a problem when someone bombs a slow market with short sales. For example, selling more stock than actually exists, with no intent to ever deliver said stock. That sort of behavior can destroy a company's public value and thus creditworthiness... eventually destroying the company. But that's already illegal to do, it's just a matter of enforcement.

No one can be trusted anymore (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268281)

Given the number of lies [factcheck.org] that went unchallenged by the mainstream media after the vice presidential debate, I find it hard to trust the mainstream media any more than anyone else. Journalistic integrity is at an extremely low level and our only option is to do all the research ourselves. The only sad thing is that we have no legal recourse to do anything about these bastard liars except for to boycott them.

Re:No one can be trusted anymore (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268389)

The only sad thing is that we have no legal recourse to do anything about these bastard liars except for to boycott them.

Have you never watched a cable news show in your life? (And honestly I would say that you were lucky if you haven't), there are tons of ways to make them look to facts. E-mail them, call in, tell rival news stations about their mistakes, etc. There is tons of ways you can ruin a journalist's reputation, and journalism isn't something that we have a total monopoly on (unlike, say, the operating system market).

Automated stock trading (0, Offtopic)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268295)

What ought to be besmirched are the automated stock trading systems that monitor the news wires and enact trades based on what they find. If every unsubstantiated rumor is going to cause a hair-trigger move in a stock, there may need to be some measures taken to curb this, or the opportunities for manipulation are endless. By the way, WARREN BUFFET IS DEAD! DETAILS AT 11!

Rumor mongering (-1, Offtopic)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268297)

Funny as hell [thelongest...nglast.com]

What a bunch of maroons. But somebody did make a small bundle, no doubt.

Re:Rumor mongering (0, Flamebait)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268499)

What the hell was offtopic about it?? I'm just illustrating how idiots react to rumors. Maybe you were one of those idiots?

How does this differ from the Bloomberg screwup? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268305)

'How could you possibly allow just anybody to post just anything under your [CNN] label unless you have blazing billboards that say, "None of this has been verified, we've not looked at any of this, we have no idea if this is true?"' he asks."

Why should "citizen journalists" be held to a higher standard? As the recent Bloomberg screwup on the same subject reminds us, it's not like you verify anything your "professional" journalists produce.

Steve Jobs is dead! (1)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268323)

Millions of citizen suddenly awake from hypnosis ... naked, wandering the streets, iPods covering their genitalia.

Everyone's blushing as they throw their devices to the trash.

Re:Steve Jobs is dead! (1)

creature124 (1148937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268623)

Those poor souls. That must have been totally in the thrall of Jobs' Reality Distortion Field.

This Is Why... (1)

His Shadow (689816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268361)

The SEC made naked short selling illegal. Hedge funds manipulated stock on a massive scale in just this way, and had no other interest than making the stock move the way it wanted it to move so as to make money. It's galling that the gubment has wait so long to step on obvious quasi-legal schemes to protect investors..

Blame 4chan (1)

jnnnnn (1079877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268399)

Wow, it worked.

There was a thread on /b/ a few days ago where Anonymous decided to spread a rumour. A few were suggested but the Steve Jobs one was picked because the consensus was that it was the most believable.

Blame the investors.

Re:Blame 4chan (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268613)

"There was a thread on /b/ a few days ago..."

I've been seeing this /b/ referenced here lately...but, I don't know what it means...can you elaborate? Is it a new forum or something?

I actually find it extremely humorous. (3, Insightful)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268423)

Welcome, Internet. You take every baboon, idiot, and moron and give them the opportunity to be heard at the same level of volume as every other individual out there. You then take a news agency, wanting to capitalize on not having to pay stringers constantly, and provide said speech free to the world.

I laugh.

I spent 5 years in college doing photojournalism, 4 years in High school, and 2 years in middle school- all with a camera plastered to my hip and face. My life was defined in photos of other people. Now out, I look forth and see every person with a cell phone camera capturing daily drivel and spouting it off as 'news'. News is immediate and important based on locality- ie, it's important if you shoot it because it's important to you- the rest of the world (more likely than not) just doesn't give a shit. However- and here is where the internet and CNN step in- you now have a distribution model to *make* it important.

So the health of Steve Jobs is suspect- we all know that. Apple hid it from the world so the stock price wouldn't tank. Apple has done it to itself by not being candid in the past- and has reinforced the notion that if the almighty master suffers the company will suffer. Had they suffered this price dump in the past the future wouldn't revolve around every little sniffle.

Investigate all you want- Even if the stock was manipulated many people took profit at the news- because they recognized the inherit fear that Apple has now linked itself to Steve Job's life.

Thus, I give you my opinion on citizen journalism: http://xkcd.org/481/ [xkcd.org]
*please note that this post itself citizen journalism and the author is subject to the same rant he inflicts upon others.

Looking at it backwards (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268437)

The citizen jounalism isn't the problem; it's the ridiculously gullible stock investors. How many times most they be burned before they start learning basic fundamentals of life?

The fact that stocks can consistently be played by unverified rumors posted on an open public forum... well, money flows from the stupid to the smart. Note that the stock price has recovered, but Darwin has shifted it into better hands.

The culprit... (1)

InspectorxGadget (1230170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268467)

Oh, that wacky Anonymous is at it again!

News, citizen journalism, or marketing ploy? (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268503)

There is little 'newsworthiness' to what gets reported in the 'citizen journalism' fashion that it does on CNN -or anywhere else. 'Citizen journalism' is best relegated to cat-up-a-tree or man bites dog drivel that hardly warrants even a passing glance. What it does represent is the attempt by 'news' networks to boost their viewer ratings by getting fools to post questionable content to their website. Marketing disguised as 'journalism' should be viewed with the most jaundiced of eyes.

Mainstream Media... (1)

lordsid (629982) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268531)

How is that citizen journalism has taken a hit because of one idiot? Does mainstream media take a hit any time they post a photoshopped image or report with a bias? Seems like someone with an agenda against citizen journalism, not objective reporting.

But what if...? (2, Funny)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268545)

Fake Steve Jobs' writer had a real heart attack?

The Stock Exchange is based on Bullshit... (2, Insightful)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268563)

Online bullshit hurt a company that trades stocks based on bullshit. Big fucking deal. Apple, like many other companies that are traded publicly depend on bullshit news to drive their stock value up. I'll simply chalk this one up for the good guys, because it hurt Apple's stock value. If there is one lesson that we all need to learn... Its that an economy that runs on bullshit, is wrong and will fail in time. And that is why our government is handing out 840 billion dollars in corporate. We run on bullshit, we legislate based on bullshit... the entire thing is one big Wizard Of Oz scenario. Its all a giant pile of shit behind the curtain. Fuck truth... bet on bullshit to win.

Business as Usual? (1)

cybereal (621599) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268601)

"[The] increasingly blurred line between journalism and rumor is a serious concern for Al Tompkins, the broadcast/online group leader at The Poynter Institute â" a specialized school for journalists of all media forms. 'How could you possibly allow just anybody to post just anything under your [CNN] label unless you have blazing billboards that say, "None of this has been verified, we've not looked at any of this, we have no idea if this is true?"' he asks."

Probably because they would have to show that same billboard wrapped around 75% of what they report.

As a more serious post... (4, Insightful)

cybereal (621599) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268629)

I firmly believe that this type of event is in the long term best interest of all parties.

Even before the proliferation of untrusted individual reporting becoming trusted (read: blogs) the large news agencies have been blindly trusted by nearly everyone. Everyone is shocked when it's revealed that the reports they read in their papers were outright wrong, or even lies.

Everything we can do to impact every day Joe in a way that gets them thinking critically about news reports will benefit us in the long run. We will, hopefully, become less impacted by propaganda compaigns, as well as less likely to react to news/media reports irrationally and impulsively.

Of course, I admit that this is some kind of massive wishful thinking but, man... wouldn't it be nice to see some random jerk on the street see a newspaper and murmer "I wonder if that's true." instead of "OMG PONIES!?"

Mainstream journalism is no better (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25268649)

How, exactly, is mainstream journalism better?

Both local papers here are Canwest Global products and I don't find them any better than a blog or rumour mill. They mix news, editorials, advertorials, advertisements, so-called "special features" and paid product placements all willy-nilly without clear separation.

Let's check out the pros. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25268665)

Well, let's see how "professional journalism" is doing over at the National Inquirer. Today's headlines:

  • "Patrick Swayze takes turn for worse - TV show shuts down!"
  • "Sleazemaster Larry Flynt XXX 'Palin' flick."
  • "Feds eye steamy Lara Logan 'war crimes'."

"Got Gossip? We'll pay big bucks. Click or email us. Click here. [nationalenquirer.com] "

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