Apple has denied a rumor posted on CNN's iReport page that Steve Jobs suffered a heart attack Friday morning.
Daily Debrief: Apple's encounter with 'citizen journalism'
The unsubstantiated rumor, posted on the "citizen journalism" section of CNN called iReport, caused a sharp drop in Apple's stock price around 7 a.m. PDT before company representatives were able to deny the charge. Blogs such as Silicon Alley Insider initially published the rumor as written on CNN with the 21st century fig leaf--a question mark at the end of the headline--but updated its story after hearing from Apple representatives. CNN has since removed the post in question.
It's not hard to imagine this was a brazen attempt to move Apple's stock price to someone's benefit, and an investigation will probably follow. The episode is eerily similar to one last year in which Engadget was sent a fake e-mail claiming to be from an Apple employee that the release of the iPhone and Mac OS X Leopard had been delayed. And it also smacks of the "hedge fund sources" quoted by the media earlier this year questioning Jobs' health based on his appearance.
Updated: Courtesy of our friends at ZDNet, here's a screen grab of the actual post that appeared on CNN's iReport site.