Filed under: Business, Finance and Investment, International News
A deeply concerning post, courtesy of slashdot.org.
Google News erroneously reprinted an old article from 2002 concerning United Airlines, which faced deep financial problems at the time. This caused a run on its NASDAQ-listed stock UAL, leading to its share price falling from $12 to $3, after which the stock was suspended from trading. This caused a drop in its market capitalisation of $1.14 billion. The stock has since recovered to over $10, but its market capitalisation is still down over $300 million from before the old article was published.
Google News regularly searches and indexes online news sites around the world. In turn, many other online news sites grab headline from Google News. The automated nature of this process provides many opportunities for false information to be widely disseminated.
With the growth of Social Bookmarking sites and News Aggregators, people wishing to manipulate the market, or spread any kind of propaganda now have a very powerful tool at their disposal.