How much impact can a fake news story have on the real world? A pretty major one, particularly when it comes to the stock market, as a fake story concerning a massive buyout of Twitter sent the social network's shares soaring.
As NBC News reports, the purported Bloomberg report stated that Twitter was working with banks in relation to a $31 billion (around £20 billion) takeover bid.
Of course, Twitter denied this, and when Bloomberg further denied it had come from one of its reporters – and in fact, had originated from the newly registered Bloomberg.market domain, rather than Bloomberg.com – the fakery of the news article was revealed for all to see. But not before investors had made a land grab for as many Twitter shares as they could get their hands on.
Twitter stock ended up rising to the tune of 8 per cent.
It all goes to show – always check the source of any story carefully, even if outwardly it seems to be from a major news agency.
It's not surprising that a fake story should be built around a Twitter buyout, given recent events.
Following the resignation of CEO Dick Costolo, rumours sprang up that Facebook could be planning to acquire Twitter (and Google has also been mentioned as a potential buyer for the social network).
It would, of course, be a highly pricey move, and indeed Twitter’s current value is put at around £22 billion, a figure the architect of this fake story obviously kept in line with.