OLD Media Moves

Citizen journalism and the stock market

October 6, 2008

John Dvorak of Marketwatch assesses citizen journalism in light of the events of last week, when someone posted a false report on iReport.com that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had a heart attack, which led to a drop in its stock price.

John DvorakDvorak writes, “The false-rumor model for stock-market manipulation is nothing new, but since the advent of the Internet it’s grown more likely to have a big impact on a big stock, since a rumor can spread across the Net rather quickly and cause panic.

“I suspect that from this we will see a re-evaluation of the idea of so-called citizen journalists, with a lot of criticism coming their way. My advice: Get over it. We’re stuck with what we have.

“We are not going to be able to control bad reporting, disinformation, hoaxes and lies in this Internet age. It’s like a bad forest fire; it can be contained but not controlled.

“And the likelihood of this sort of thing’s being an everyday occurrence is fairly low.”

Read more here.

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