10.30am or so this morning, on the internets:
Which would be, if true, something of a scoop for the Daily Mail. So let’s take a look at the article – here’s the first few paras:
Which is great – the source is Mr Jobs himself. On Twitter. Except that, as anyone working in tech journalism should know, Steve Jobs doesn’t have a verified Twitter account. It took all of 10 seconds to find the source – this update:
There are many clues that @ceostevejobs is a parody account – not least the phrase “of course this is a parody account” in his biography. Apparently, though, nobody at the Mail bothered to check. I published a link on Twitter. People laughed and mocked. Sarcastic comments appeared on the article. Still it sat unchanged. A few hours later a colleague pointed out that it also contained a howling typo – that, too, sat uncorrected.
All in all, then, an astronomical fuckup that lead to an incorrect article being published. So where’s the correction? There isn’t one. Instead it took around four hours for the Mail’s web team to notice – or perhaps to decide that the traffic they were getting no longer outweighed the potential embarrassment – and the page disappeared offline at around 2pm.
So there you have it: shoddy reporting, no fact checking, an incorrect news story sitting online for hours and no apology. At least, for once, it doesn’t really matter that much.