Anorak News | How To Short Sell iPods And Steve Jobs

How To Short Sell iPods And Steve Jobs

by | 5th, October 2008

Apple was yesterday stung into denying its head Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack. The false internet rumour had briefly slashed his company’s stock value.

It once again highlights the problems of the troubled relationship between traditional and new often totally amateurish and unregulated gossip mill new media.

The video posting on – a site owned by Time Warner’s CNN – caused confusion among investors. It was pulled after 20 minutes but not before the company’s stock temporarily dipped by almost 10 per cent…causing panic share selling.

Apple quickly denied the rumours about its chief executive, who is regarded as almost irreplaceable, but the report had claimed Jobs was rushed to hospital after suffering “a major heart attack.” CNN deleted the posting from and disabled the user’s account.

CNN tried to trace the user – based on information given at registration – but was unsuccessful. The all-powerful Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating “Johntw,” the unidentified rumourmonger.
The site carries a disclaimer stating: “CNN makes no guarantees about the content or the coverage on” In this case it is unlikely to help and “Johntw” may become a form of swear word if the SEC uses its draconian powers to cut off the severs-for-all market in the US.
It IS being discussed.

There has been a rapid reaction in the USA and there are urgent talks re the risks involved with mainstream media organisations leeching from what is often referred to as “citizen journalism,”.

News media are not always blameless…they often get it wrong but this incident brings the subject of unregulated and unmoderated sites into high profile. CNN pulled the plug on this user and others will be closely monitored from now on. The I.P. is known and was given…immediately…. to the Stock Exchange officials now attempting to track the culprit.

The difficult for CNN, supporters of the new media and even little old embattled us here at Anorak is this…unless there are checks and balances, unless journalists check the facts much of what is said and done in the “citizen journalism” area is untrustworthy and, because it is unregulated and unmoderated, it is a dangerous area.

The danger for bloggers is prosecutions are probably not very far away and those UK sites which think they are secure in having USA servers had better do a very rapid rethink. The USA-UK extradition treaties are notoriously one-way and if the infringement stings the wrong person then the NatWest bankers will not be the only ones to have collars felt. The other issue, of course, is the risk to sites devoted exclusively to one prominent story of late. Lawyers will be lightening quick to spot that when pressed the hosts handed over the I.P. at once. How could any UK site refuse after that?

I doubt there will be any sympathy expressed from the conventional media, it has had to deal with regulation and install expensive training programmes to keep on the right side of the law. The glee if a UK site is nicked would be unparalleled. When the Feds/G-Men/Woodentops or Policia call I may be forced to name at least two for the martyrs’ funeral pyre.

The issue has tickled the world’s printed media today because it justifies an attack on its now biggest rival – the well-run media site, but, it is rapidly becoming recognised the two communications forms are actually symbiotic, they each nurture the other.

Jobs, who has survived pancreatic cancer, has not discussed his health despite appearing extremely thin in recent appearances.


City Bends To Flexible Working Hours: Home Office Free iPods

Posted: 5th, October 2008 | In: Reviews Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink