I just took down Apple’s stock in one post.

apple-logoTech blog Gizmodo has just released a report citing that the health of Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple is declining rapidly, which prompted a 4% decline in Apple’s share price. In October, an iReport on CNN.com claimed Jobs had had a heart attack, which caused a temporary stock plunge of 10%. In September, Google News incorrectly picked up an old story on the Florida Sun-Sentinel website about United Airlines filing for bankruptcy. As a result, United Airlines stock fell over 11%.

I don’t think anyone can argue that access to information, on-demand, is a wonderful thing, but what we need to consider is how we take in this information, and more importantly, how we act on it. One individual had the power to cause Apple’s market cap to drop $10 billion in one day (can you say “put option?”). So if your company actively blogs, you might want to designate an editor to make sure everything is genuine. Online trust is going to be one of the paramount issues over the next decade. And if you’re an investor, it’s probably best to check if news reports are backed up by other sources before you sell those Apple or United shares.

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