Poor Steve Jobs is like the U.S. economy, rumors of his demise keep being greatly exaggerated.
A month ago, Bloomberg (the news service, not the mayor) mistakenly published his obituary and this morning, a “citizen journalist” on CNN’s iReport.com, posted a false report that Steve Jobs had a heart attack.
Jobs has been puny-looking and mysterious about his health recently, so there was enough truthiness in both the obit appearance and the fake rumor to make Apple shares fall — something they’ve been doing a lot of recently.
Or perhaps, it was the report this morning that jobs (the kind people are paid for) are what is having a heart attack is what made the stock slump.
Whatever, I think we all need to declare Steve Jobs’ health rumors a no-fly zone. If you see a report related to it, turn off your computer and TV for 30 minutes before reacting.
Sidenote: There is actually a name for a high profile — and harmful — malicious use of a user-contributed platform. It’s called a Seigenthaler incident and it refers to a series of events that began in May, 2005, involving a hoax article on Wikipedia. That unfortunate event led to lots of analysis and to tightening the requirements for individuals who edit Wikipedia. I feel certain today’s hack will lead to some re-thinking of such policies at iReport.com & CNN, as well.