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Fake buyout news story sends Twitter stock soaring

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 domain, rather than – 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.

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.