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Bloomberg goes all "fake news"?

5 October 2018

There was a time, back in the 1990s, when Bloomberg was a respected and trusted source of news -- especially financial news.

Oh... how the mighty have fallen.

Like so many other mainstream media outlets, Bloomberg seems to have now taken its lead from the tabloid press and rags like The Daily Mail.

I spied a story the other day on Bloomberg which likened the recreational drone arena to "the wild west" and today I saw that they'd written what some of the parties involved consider to be a complete work of fiction regarding the tech sector.

According to Bloomberg, Apple and Amazon are using chips, made in China, that covertly send all sorts of data back to China.

According to the story, Bloomberg alleged that "the data had been siphoned off via tiny chips inserted on server circuit boards made by a company called Super Micro Computer".

Okay, let's clarify things -- at least from a journalistic perspective.

What Bloomberg are claiming *may* well be true... but they haven't provided any substantiating evidence (that I've seen) to back up these allegations.

Back in "the olden days", journalists would never go to print with a story based solely on rumour and unsubstantiated accusations. Every piece of information purported to be fact must be backed up by substantiating evidence or a second source -- was the usual standard for those writing news coverage.

The fact that Apple and Amazon, two of the companies allegedly affected by this data-leak, have strongly denied the claims made in the story must ring alarm bells.

Apple have stated that Bloomberg contacted it with claims of an alleged security incident but provided no evidence and that Apple itself had found nothing to support any of the claims being made.

For their part, Bloomberg say that they do have evidence and testimony, from six (seemingly unnamed) former "national security officials", plus whistle-blowers from within the companies affected.

So where is the truth in all this?

I strongly doubt that any large US corporate would want to admit that they'd lost valuable secrets and data to China as a result of secret-squirrel spyware in their systems.

I also doubt that the other parties allegedly affected (the US military and CIA) would fess up to being duped.

So is it fake news?

Well I don't know... but as I say, I've seen a growing trend over several years now, which indicates (at least to me) that Bloomberg (like most other news agencies) is really feeling the pinch and feels a need to create sensationalist stories that pull in eyeballs, so as to hike revenues from advertising.

Too bad for Super Micro Computer though... in the wake of the Bloomberg story, their share price has taken a hit, probably as a result of the "mud sticks" principle. How sad it is that these days, we just can't trust anyone to bring us the objective, properly researched and fact-checked news.

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