President Obama has been injured in a terrorist attack on the White House. A Tweet released by the Associated Press (AP) attests to this. It carries the company’s “verified” stamp of authenticity. The S&P 500 just lost more than $130 bn. Well, not quite.
The AP’s Tweet was the by-product of a computer hack by the “Syrian Electronic Army” and naturally the US president was never injured. AP quickly took its feed down and immediately notified its subscribers of the problem. The market recovered but AP’s reputation as a reliable supplier of real time news was damaged. Social media are now ubiquitous in the corporate world and in our day-to-day life but the risks they carry are not fully understood yet.