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Teenager Was Behind False Steve Jobs Heart Attack Rumor [Update]

The SEC has pinpointed an eighteen year old kid as being the person responsible for posting a fake rumor about Apple CEO Steve Jobs suffering a heart attack.

jobsWhile we new the SEC had begun investigating the incident, the intentions behind the fake rumor have been unclear. Many believed it to be a stock scam, while others were left scratching their heads wondering why anyone would play crazy with such a volatile stock. The fake rumor caused Apple’s stock price (AAPL) to dip more than 5%, allowing anyone who knew of the report early enough, to make a significant amount of money.

Bloomberg explains: A fake Internet report that Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack was posted by a teenager, and investigators haven’t found evidence he tried to profit from driving down the stock, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is examining the 18-year-old’s motives after the article on CNN’s iReport.com sent Apple shares down as much as 5.4 percent Oct. 3, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the probe isn’t public. While the investigation is continuing, the agency hasn’t unearthed any trading records that show he benefited from the drop, one of them said.

Unless the SEC finds evidence that it was indeed a stock scam, and the teenager had intentions of making a boat load of money, the case is most likely out of its jurisdiction.

Whether or not the teenager had plans on making money with the fake posting or not, CNN’s iReport website and its credibility have been seriously questioned. Although CNN claims that it has rules in place for preventing users from making up stories about the health of celebrities, disabling this teenager’s user account and removing the false information is not enough. A new set of guidelines, and perhaps the addition of human moderation would help prevent this from ever happening again.

Update: “CNN spokeswoman Jennifer Martin said the cable news channel wasn’t aware of the age or identity of the person behind the iReport post. CNN doesn’t plan to review its procedures for placing content on iReport, Martin said, declining to comment further.”

Read – Bloomberg

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