Day4 is a Swedish company specialized in motion graphic and videos for TV, Internet and
so on. A week ago they got an idea (that right now makes any marketing company a bit jealous). They decided to create a rumour and see what happened with it.
That rumour was about Apple making there own weird screws and you can read all about what and how they did it directly from them here. They managed to get the rumour mill spinning either way.
The interesting thing is not that they managed to get a whole community (almost) talking about something made up but the perceived level of truth. The blogg Cult of Mac writes about it after 12 hours and then the ball was in motion. Yahoo, Wired and Mac World are among the news agents picking it up. Still, it's a rumour and writers are sceptic. The longer from the (made up) source however...They note that when readers share and comment on these articles in there own media streams like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ - almost all questioning is gone.
Very interesting, if not so much of a chocker. Who values the news before it reaches you? I know a couple of journalists, both in old-school-paper-media and web publications. They might not always admit it but the faster our information wheel spins, the less source control. My humble guess is that that's one of the main reasons we see so many articles stating another competitor as their source. Maybe we didn't check it, but it's not our fault, they wrote it first - sort of. Not that the source is a guarantee for accuracy, the Swedish wire service TT quickly gets a nation wide spread on their news. Both correct and incorrect ones.
Gets you thinking doesn't it?
Disclaimer: the part about who was sceptic and the perceived level of truth is the opinion of Day4 and has not been thoroughly checked by me Ironic huh? :-)