Steve Jobs Panic – the Anatomy of Fake News on Twitter

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, as hundreds of Tweets reported:

Steve Jobs was rushed to ER after severe heart attack.

AAPL took a nosedive, then recovered.

Fortunately the news turned out to be bogus. Citizen journalism failed today.

Read the full chronology over @ CloudAve.

(Oh, and while at it, you may want to grab the CloudAve feed. Thank you.)


  1. Zoli, I disagree that citizen journalism “failed” in this case. Yes, the report was untrue, and lots of people (including me) spread the report — but at the same time, it was debunked relatively quickly.

    I think that’s actually a pretty good example of how social media (I hate the term “citizen journalism”) can work. It’s a process, not a single event.

  2. Mathew, you’re right, in the end the process worked.

    What bothered me was the uncontrolled flood of “CNN reports… ” tweets, and that one bogus report becomes the source to another.

    But it was short-lived. 🙂

  3. SEC has launched an investigation. The guys IP address must have on we blogs and once they find him, he can faces charges if he made any money. Its not only irresponsible but also a criminal offense.


  1. […] as I go. But does this mean citizen journalism has failed? I don’t think so. As I commented at Zoli Erdos’s blog, and on the Read/WriteWeb post, it didn’t take long for the rumour to be corrected (and not […]

  2. […] to be false information, I wonder if WebGuild went a step too far this time.  (Remember the Steve Jobs death […]

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