Social Media is has been repeatedly buffeted by changes in authentic information by media portals, content conveyed to its readers without third-party filtering, fact-checking or editorial judgment. The controversial fake news of Google acquiring Apple is the latest example of the trending consumption of misleading news which stands as a disappointing example of twisted transparency spun by media outlets for web traffic.
Yesterday, In a report by Josee Rose, Dow Jones released a fake news stating that Google was acquiring Apple for a petty price of $9 billion. It further stated that in 2010, there were secret acquisition talks going on between Google CEO Larry Page and late Steve Jobs. In the stock market, this would mean that each Google share would get 9 nine Apple shares. The news instantly hiked Apple’s stock value from $2 dollar to $158 per share.
The bogus news was first reported by 9to5Mac stating the falseness of it all and that the hike in the share value as a result of automated bot algorithms rather than a stunt of real humans. To several shareholder’s relief, the stock prices were instantly restored to normal.
Dow Jones apologized for the publication mistake and reassured that the matter will be thoroughly investigated as the publication was clearly an accident.
“Please disregard the headlines that ran on Dow Jones Newswires between 9:34 a.m. ET and 9:36 a.m. ET. Due to a technical error, the headlines were published. All of those headlines are being removed from the wires. We apologize for the error.”
William Lewis, CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of The Wall Street Journal has ordered an investigation into the technological processes and news reviews and ensures that the incident will be scrutinized very thoroughly. However, the question that arises from the incident is that how can we trust the biggest outlets of information when the source of their news is controlled by inefficient bots which rely on the artificial mechanisms of keyword search, trend identification, user sentiment analysis. The processes adopted by bots clearly fail to reflect credibility in the light of events such as yesterday’s blunder.