I often praised Twitter for being first reporting breaking news – typical examples were several recent earthquakes in Japan, China, New Zealand…etc.
This morning’s news brought panic, and at the time of writing this post, I still don’t know if it was fake news or real.. yet the way the “news” exploded is worth looking at.
Steve Jobs was rushed to ER after severe heart attack
– said the shocking tweet, followed by literally hundreds of re-tweets, within minutes. Quick check on Google News: nothing.
At this stage who knows, I hope it’s not true, nevertheless my knee-jerk reaction is to sell my tiny AAPL position. (They other day I singlehandedly attempted to stop the falling AAPL knife). After all, Steve Jobs *IS* Apple.
Within minutes the markets open, and AAPL is two points up from where I sold … minor bummer, I hope the news turns out fake.
Summize, (OK, I know, it’s Twitter Search now) shows hundreds of tweets reverberating the news, and since Twitter shortens URL’s, they all appear to quote different sources, looking something like this: http://twurl.nl/latas2. At the first glance it’ snot obvious that they ALL point to the same news on iReport: Steve Jobs rushed to ER following severe heart attack:
Steve Jobs was rushed to the ER just a few hours ago after suffering a major heart attack. I have an insider who tells me that paramedics were called after Steve claimed to be suffering from severe chest pains and shortness of breath. My source has opted to remain anonymous, but he is quite reliable. I haven't seen anything about this anywhere else yet, and as of right now, I have no further information, so I thought this would be a good place to start. If anyone else has more information, please share it.
Emphasis above mine, and it’s rather important. One single unnamed source. I fire off a warning on Twitter:
Let’s do Google News Search again. Oh, no… this is bad:
Apple’s Steve Jobs Rushed To ER After Heart Attack, Says CNN …
If it’s on CNN, it must be true. Except in this case Google News played a trick on me, truncating the title at a critical place. Clicking through here’s the Silicon Alley Insider’s original title:
Apple’s Steve Jobs Rushed To ER After Heart Attack, Says CNN’s iReport.
Oh, that’s very different, and in the post Henry Blodget goes on explaining that this could very well be a test of Citizen Journalism. So there’s hope …
But other’s have seen what I’ve seen, so by now Twitter says CNN reported Job’s heart attack. The stock market responds, AAPL tanks from 105 to 97 in minutes.
While I’m typing away, I see AAPL recover just as fast as it declined – good news must have surfaced! Check Google News again:
The Silicon Alley Insider posts is still the only one, but if you click through, the title is now dramatically changed:
"Citizen journalism" apparently just failed its first significant test. A CNN iReport poster reported this morning that Steve Jobs had been rushed to the ER after a severe heart attack. Fortunately, it appears the story was false. We contacted an Apple spokeswoman, who categorically denies this.
Citizen Journalism just took a hit today. But I am glad the news turned out to be bogus.