Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 4th Oct 2008 21:12 UTC
Apple If you're looking for a party, Wall Street probably isn't the place you're going to find one. And to make matters worse, there are apparently people out there who are wilfully trying to make the life of the people on Wall Street (and subsequently, the rest of the world) even harder. By making up fake stories. And publish them on CNN's Digg - iReport.com. Some individual had posted a fake report last Friday, claiming Steve Jobs had suffered from a heart attack and was rushed into the hospital. As a result, Apple's stock made a 10% nosedive.
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The power of rumors.
by chaosvoyager on Sat 4th Oct 2008 21:45 UTC
chaosvoyager
Member since:
2005-07-06

Any high profile change will affect the stock market, and the SEC is aware of this, which is why they have all those laws about stock manipulation which is what this could easily be considered.

We even have similar laws protecting people, but they are far less effective because we cannot force people to believe something about a person. How many teachers have been falsely accused of abuse, been cleared of all charges, but are still banned from or simply not hired for teaching ever again?

I dearly wish this would serve as a wakeup call for all those people who react to rumors, threats, and stories "just in case they're true", but let's be realistic. I'm an idealist, not an idiot.

Far too many people lack good judgment, but love to make judgments when they can remain anonymous. I don't know about you, but scares the living $#!& out of me.

Happy Halloween.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by lurch_mojoff
by lurch_mojoff on Sat 4th Oct 2008 22:18 UTC
lurch_mojoff
Member since:
2007-05-12

Thom, I too vehemently disagree, but with you. Real journalists do not publish anything they have not confirmed with at least two independent sources, or anyway that's how it used to be. You don't get a free pass because you've added at the end of your report a disclaimer that you're waiting for a statement from Apple and updates will be posted as they come. The story being unconfirmed doesn't mean it is false and many people, especially in these economically turbulent times, will choose to act on the worst case scenario and try to beat the rest of the market to the punch. I consider Silicon Alley Insider a fairly serious web publication and I think they should have known better.

As for what will happen with Apple and their stock when Steve Jobs really dies, well, the most likely scenario goes something like this: apple's stock takes a hit, likely more than 10%; the company's well rehearsed succession plan kicks in; at the end of the next quarter they announce that the profit and the growth are just as healthy as ever and the stock recovers a bit; in six months Apple release some new fancy-shmancy products and again report healthy growth and profit and the stock recovers more, probably completely; in a year no investor remembers or cares about Steve and the stock is once again valued based on a mix of rational and irrational indicators.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by lurch_mojoff
by null_pointer_us on Sat 4th Oct 2008 23:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by lurch_mojoff"
null_pointer_us Member since:
2005-08-19

Thom, I too vehemently disagree, but with you. Real journalists do not publish anything they have not confirmed with at least two independent sources, or anyway that's how it used to be.


The primary responsibility of any news organization is to present the facts of the situation in a way that is (a) independently verifiable and (b) leaves consumers with an accurate understanding of the situation.

By this standard, major news networks publish crap everyday, and some do little else. News producers and consumers really don't care about the facts so much as the slant. It's way too motivated by personal agenda: news producers often create stories based on fluff to satisfy personal grudges or delusions, and news consumers accept/reject reporting for similar reasons. Reality comes in second. And ethics? Heh, sure.

News consumers are just as bad. Often they'll take something at face value just because their favorite news organization stated it as fact. Nevermind the other major news organizations are simultaneously exposing it as lies, or discounting it based on nonexistent reports by untrustworthy sources.

News consumers don't care about transparency. They don't want to verify anything they read. What they want, is information that tells them what they want to hear -- usually one of two things: (a) their agenda is advancing because it is good, smart, modern, whatever; or (b) their agenda is being blocked because their enemies are bad, ignorant, outdated, whatever. As long as they can find some news organization that gives the right slant, presto! the desired slant becomes fact.

In short, the problem is that news organizations publish what they want people to hear while news consumers select news organizations based on what they want to hear. It doesn't really matter what side of the issue you happen to be on (if any).

And yes, there are honest people in the world...I'm generalizing. ;)

You don't get a free pass because you've added at the end of your report a disclaimer that you're waiting for a statement from Apple and updates will be posted as they come.


Ever watched cable news? The entire thing is a work-in-progress, with corrections slipping through the cracks because the next big partially-understood story has broken. Anonymous sources are also quite common.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by lurch_mojoff
by tyrione on Sun 5th Oct 2008 22:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by lurch_mojoff"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

The primary responsibility of any news organization is to present the facts of the situation in a way that is (a) independently verifiable and (b) leaves consumers with an accurate understanding of the situation.


So that explains the lovefest for Obama? Or the former lovefest for Bush on FOX?

The News media betrayed the notion of Free Press decades ago.

Reply Score: 4

null_pointer_us Member since:
2005-08-19

The concept of a responsible free press was myth from the beginning.

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers. -- Thomas Jefferson

I'm not sure why think you're fundamentally disagreeing with me about media irresponsibility, because we both seem to be saying that it's widespread to the point of being ridiculously bad.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by lurch_mojoff
by No it isnt on Sun 5th Oct 2008 10:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by lurch_mojoff"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Thom, I too vehemently disagree, but with you. Real journalists do not publish anything they have not confirmed with at least two independent sources, or anyway that's how it used to be.


You wish. Since the internet came along, journalism is mostly about cutting & pasting from other news sources. Just go to news.google.com and look at a few versions of some smaller story. The biggest difference is usually the journalist's name.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by lurch_mojoff
by hobgoblin on Sun 5th Oct 2008 14:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by lurch_mojoff"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

that was somewhat going one earlier to, as one had regional and global news providers that local papers and others quoted.

the net have just made it simpler to find more specific news items.

Reply Score: 2

DHofmann
Member since:
2005-08-19

"It's their job to bring the news - it's the reader's job to read properly, and not to jump to all sorts of wild conclusions in the process."

But:

"What have we learned from all this? First, Wall Street folk get their nickers in twists way too easily. Two, readers cannot read."

Isn't it irresponsible (edit: I mean 'foolish') to expect someone to do something when you already know they are incapable of doing it?

This subject reminds me of Monty Python's airline sketch (starting at 0:30): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEIB4baOSd8

Edited 2008-10-04 23:17 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Who is actually surprised over this?
by Phloptical on Sun 5th Oct 2008 00:40 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

This is what Wall Street does, predicts and reacts. Of course the fund managers are going to flee Apple in droves if something negative happens to Jobs. I don't care what iHype device Apple has released, and how good it's selling. As far as Wall Street is concerned Steve Jobs IS Apple. In the eyes of the brokers, he's the man that single handedly took Apple from the edge of of oblivion and made it a $200/share company in 10 years.

With no successor in place, it's going to be a mad rush for the door if something ever happens to him.

Reply Score: 5

How important is Steve Jobs to Apple?
by CapEnt on Sun 5th Oct 2008 00:45 UTC
CapEnt
Member since:
2005-12-18

Simple, if nothing changes, Steve Jobs is Apple.

Reply Score: 4

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

and thats worrisome, as a company should stand and fall on its products and services, not whoever is CEO at the moment...

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

and thats worrisome, as a company should stand and fall on its products and services, not whoever is CEO at the moment...

And if this event has brought the situation to the fore, then *that* is a very *valid* reason for a *sustained* drop in stock price.

Edited 2008-10-05 02:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

David Member since:
1997-10-01

I agree with this. Apple's product development seems to be so dominated by Steve's personal sensibility, that I believe that it will change dramatically once his hand is off the rudder. In some ways, I'm sure it will change for the better, since some of Steve's ideas are bad ones. We'd all like to see a little less control-freakiness when it comes to the iPhone, for example. But if they go back to product development guided by conventional wisdom and consensus, it will rob Apple of some of its genius. Efforts ruled by hard-headed tyrants are often the most effective ones, because for all the risks of error, at least the vision is clear and the effort is unified.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Alwin
by Alwin on Sun 5th Oct 2008 01:26 UTC
Alwin
Member since:
2005-07-17

From the OSNews writeup:

"OSNews isn't a website focused on reporting on something first, so we usually get the time to aggregate some interesting sources, confirm a story's credibility, and post or discard it according to that information."

Just for clarity: that's not fact-checking, that is just combining other sources and assigning a likely/unlikely value to it.

Not that I have a problem with that (and I suppose that's how many news outlets operate), but if you want to be sure: check for yourself, before proclaiming it to others as fact. And that is what serious reporters should do: go find the source, and check the facts in person.

If my national weather agency, and the news on TV, and people around me would all tell me the weather outside is a warm, dry, quiet night, that would make it very likely (usually reliable sources all saying the same). However it still wouldn't be true: I only need to step outside to know it's raining now and then, chilly and windy. In case any of you wants to know.

Now let's hope that Steve doesn't get a heart attack from all this nonsense.

Edited 2008-10-05 01:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Bug in editing comments?
by Alwin on Sun 5th Oct 2008 01:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by Alwin"
Alwin Member since:
2005-07-17

hmm... OSNews bug? Forgot the subject, tried 'edit comment' to add it, but somehow a new comment title doesn't get accepted? Is this a bug or intended behaviour? Perhaps it would be a good idea if comment-entering code could do a simple check to see if a subject *has* been entered, before accepting a comment? For dummies like me that type and click 'submit' faster than they think ;-)

Reply Score: 1

Agree in principal, not in practice
by google_ninja on Sun 5th Oct 2008 01:52 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

I agree with the general point Thom made, but honestly, iReport is the equivilent of some random person saying some random thing on some random blog. If this was coming from one or more semi-credible online sources, I think they would be justified in partial posting + disclaimer, but iReport was not enough to run with it.

Reply Score: 3

Christian Paratschek
Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, I disagree with a certain point. You called what happened a "disastrous result", but why?

This is just what stock brokers do all day long. They react to "feelings", "rumors" and "trends". Trading stocks has nothing to do the real value of a company (at least not nowadays). Prizes go up and down and everyone wants to be the one who buys low and sells high.

So, I guess it's what is to be expected. It just happened to be a quite disgusting rumor this time.

Regarding the special apple case: well, if people believe that the company can only survive with Jobs at the helm then so be it. Again, this is just a feeling, nothing more.

I'd rather
a. work for my money and
b. invest it in gold or a savings book
than be at the mercy of the feelings of some stupid investment analyst who tells me that Apple will drop as soon as Jobs is gone - and probably only because everyone else says it or because he happens to like his MacBook so much that he has a personal Jobs adoration shrine in his apartement.

Reply Score: 3

spaghetti on trees
by poohgee on Mon 6th Oct 2008 00:39 UTC
poohgee
Member since:
2005-08-13

"last Friday, claiming Steve Jobs had suffered from a heart attack and was rushed into the hospital. As a result, Apple's stock made a 10% nosedive."

lol - good idea - surprised this actually has not happened earlier .

That is the price to pay ,if people give the anonymous idiot on the web ,the benefit of the doubt and base their decisions on information which isn't backed up at all ,I assume in this case ^^ .

Reply Score: 2

Umm. That's not why the stock dived
by pantheraleo on Mon 6th Oct 2008 12:03 UTC
pantheraleo
Member since:
2007-03-07

This had nothing to do with why the stock dived.

Apple stock took a nose dive because two major investment firms downgraded it to neutral status. The reason it was downgraded is twofold:

1: A study was released that showed consumers have had to cut back spending on electronics because of the bad economy, and plan to spend far less on electronics for at least the next 90 days. It is thought this will have a negative impact on iPhone and iPod sales.

2: A report came out the number of consumers planning to by Macs vs. PCs from other manufacturers is at its lowest in over two years.

CNet needs to check their facts a bit better on this one. The fake iReport heart attack had nothing to do with Apple's stock dropping last week.

Edited 2008-10-06 12:09 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Wow
by zombie process on Mon 6th Oct 2008 12:33 UTC
zombie process
Member since:
2005-07-08

A - the claim that the Jobs BS caused any plunge is dubious at best. It's easy to see movement and draw one's own conclusions as to the "why" of the movement, but proving an association is much harder to do.

B - blogs and anon "news" sites are cesspools. If people are really reading them and counting them as verified sources of truth, they deserve what they get. Trust but verify, fuxxorz!

C - dropping fake info into the ear of a fool and calling it gospel is as old as, well . . . you fill in the blank. Thankfully no one has called these shenanigans "information warfare" or, gulp, TERRARIZM!!!! yet. A few years ago, thousands of rabid fsckheads would have wrapped themselves in the flag and begin an internet-wide witch hunt. I'm guessing that even the staunchest dumbasses are tired of that old saw by now.

Reply Score: 2

Please avoid the phrase "blame game"
by JoeBuck on Mon 6th Oct 2008 17:05 UTC
JoeBuck
Member since:
2006-01-11

The phrase "blame game" was coined by politicians who messed up badly, didn't want to pay any consequences for this, and thought it was a good idea to convince the public that any effort to determine who was responsible for any messes, scandals, financial disasters, or crimes would be merely a "game", a partisan he-said/she-said, and everyone should just forget the past and move on to the future.

If someone made up a heart attack for Steve Jobs so they could depress the value of Apple stock, buy it cheap, and then sell once the rumor was exposed, figuring that out isn't a game, rather it's the job of the SEC to do just that.

Reply Score: 2