October 23, 2008, 8:37 PM — The fake Internet report posted to CNN's iReport site earlier this month claiming Apple CEO Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack was posted by a teenager who doesn't appear to have posted it to manipulate the company's stock price, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.
Citing "people with knowledge of the matter," the report said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is still looking into the motives of the unnamed 18-year old but that it hasn't found any trading records that show the person in question benefitted from the more than 5 percent drop suffered by Apple's stock on Oct. 3.
The SEC could not be immediately reached for comment.
The report claimed that paramedics had been called after Jobs suffered "severe chest pains and shortness of breath" but was quickly pulled from the site when word spread that it was false.
CNN's iReport, which boasts "Unedited. Unfiltered. News," came in for criticism after the incident. It also served to highlight the risks of relying on posts from bloggers, the exact identity of whom is often unknown along with their motives for posting information. Then later the spotlight was turned back to the media and in particular Silicon Valley Insider for picking up the original report and publicizing it before it had confirmed the details from Apple.
The report marked the second time in two months that Jobs, whose health has been the subject of much speculation in recent months, has been prematurely pronounced dead. In late August Bloomberg News mistakenly published its prepared obituary for the tech leader before quickly retracting it.