Should Apple become aggressive about media falsehoods?

“On Monday, Apple’s stock price remained in negative territory, falling faster than the market as a whole. You have to think the company must be in bad shape for such a thing to happen,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “But when you read reports that Apple reported record revenues last year, that Mac sales reportedly increased 31% in the U.S. in January, it doesn’t seem as if the people in the financial community are listening. The highly successful iPhone 5 was even mistakenly characterized by one commentator as ‘tepid.'”

“Now through all this, Apple hasn’t said very much about this state of affairs, even though Apple’s market cap has lost tens and tens of billions of dollars. Clearly that’s a problem of the first order, and Tim Cook’s mild-mannered responses appear lame in comparison,” Steinberg writes. “Unfortunately, when Apple says little to nothing about all the false information, it is assumed, rightly or otherwise, that these stories must be true. If they’re not, where’s Apple’s denial?”

Steinberg writes, “Sure, Apple can’t — and shouldn’t try — to answer every media critic. But when a false meme is being played out in the media, they need to get ahead of it.”

Read more in the full article here.


      1. When real facts are absent, people (in fact most people) will believe prevailing lies. You only need to look at the tactics of V.I. Lenin to see that when voices of reality and reason are silent or even just not loudly vocal that those who tell the lies often enough and loudly enough are the ones who are believed.

        In the absence of facts the loudly shouted lies SHALL prevail.

          1. RW, it is precisely the opposite. It is not a “rules and regulations” school system that leads to this. Rather, it is the “non-judgmental,” accept everything equally, attitude that is instilled in those in the school system. That leads to a non-caring attitude when hearing anything. And it is just as well to accept something as not to.

            Therefore, there is no discrimination as to right or wrong, good or bad, true of not true. And they are as likely to disregard, or give the same low weight, to any truthful, factual responses.

            This has been very bad hurting recent past, current, and future generations.

        1. The problem with addressing lies is that as soon as you start, you have to address every comment (correct or otherwise). If you only address the lies, the market will assume that the comments you don’t address are accurate.

          There is no credible way to address a corrupt media bent on generating headlines (aka eyeballs). Whores no longer walk the streets on the wrong side of the tracks. They populate the internet, where anybody can post a blog without any kind of supervision.

          1. Agree…tho’ I do blow hot and cold with frustration and denial that so much dumbness is allowed to become a standard meme.
            In the long run, it’s deeds not intentions that win the day so I think it’s better to rely on products to do the talking.

          2. I understand your point but I respectfully disagree. If you publicly pillory a few for spouting things as fact when they are absolute falsehoods, then others will be more reluctant to just spout crap.

            Is it an absolute solution? No. There is no such thing. However, it is a start that is a more specific action — and has a better chance of working than doing nothing (or in Cook’s case, next to nothing).

        2. ” ……….When real facts are absent, people (in fact most people) will believe prevailing lies.
          In the absence of facts the loudly shouted lies SHALL prevail……”

          i’m not a terribly political person but, isn’t this the sort of thing we just saw in the presidential campaign? idk, maybe, it happens everywhere, all the time

      2. Eeeeh… Im not sure I believe that any more. At first I thought it was just the naive led by a few apple haters. Lately however, it has been too constant and too well orchestrated to believe it is simply random idiocy in an echo chamber. The king of social media with thousand (perhaps tens of thousands?) of paid bloggers & journalists and their “partners” have, I think, gone down a dark path.

        Disclosure: long on Apple and recently almost doubled that stake (while wishing I would have the faith to have done it when Tim first took the reins)

        1. I 100% agree with you on this. I’ve worked in advertising/marketing for years and I know first-hand that Samsung was starting to get aggressive years ago on social media, message boards, etc.

          Apple does need to reevaluate their marketing very quickly. Something is not right. I’m not saying they should hire shills to talk shit about Google/Samsung, but they should do a better job of defending themselves.

          The only reason I can see them being silent lately is that they have very big news or new products coming and it’s just around the corner—or their agency of record is asleep at the wheel.

  1. AAPL has been a target for almost a half year now. It does make any sense that nothing is done and the investors are left to the slaughter. This daily attack (bull shit) isn’t challenged with any facts that are publicly known. Take on the creative twist of the headlines. If Apple will not defend what they are obligated to defend, ask someone else to. Try an interview with a friendly analyst and take on the daily decimation with facts. Or pre-anaunce new facts. Or take a BILLION every week and put a floor to this free fall. DO YOU JOB TIM COOK AND THE APPLE BOARD.

  2. When outright falsehoods are stated such as the statement a few weeks ago that Apple was *drastically* cutting orders on parts for the iPhone 5, Apple needs to make a formal, public statement AND call out the persons, by name, who are spreading such lies. If Apple put out the facts and named the lying persons (i.e., “so-and-so at xyz publications has stated wrong information, the reality is such-and-such”) then fewer and fewer of these idiots would repeat lies without checking into them further.

    NOTE: I am *NOT* suggesting Apple threaten to sue any of these idiots. Just publicly calling them and their organization out by name and clearly stating what is false and what is fact should improve the situation significantly.

    As said above, Apple should not try to dispel the vast number of rumors flying about. However, when a persons states they have evidence that something has happened when it clearly and absolutely has not, then Apple needs to act.

    Apple has been letting the media run wild. It’s only going to get worse until Apple acts.

    1. It’s an interesting contrast, isn’t it? Google and Samsung on the offensive PR-wise while continuing to build sub-standard product. Apple, while continuing to build best-of-breed product is silent on the PR front. Reminds me of the old adage: Actions speak louder than words.

  3. What drivel, going on and on about Steve Jobs and antennae gate but conveniently forgetting Tim Cook and mapappgate.

    Media falsehoods, now there is a redundant term, what’s next sunny sunrises?

  4. Apple responding is exactly what the false media wants, so they can rouse up an argument to get even more clicks. Going back and forth on single false argument.

    What was it SJ said about blogs? I was hoping MDN would have put that up many times before. But it was something like…..”Anyone can be a blogger, you dont need to have any journalistic standards. Which most do not. And people will continue to believe blogs until….well, they don’t”. What he was basically saying was that Apple was not going to get drawn into arguing against the lies in the media. People would have to start recognising lies all by themselves. This was about a year before he passed away. Have been trying to find this clip on YouTube but no cigar. MDN, come on you must have this at your fingertips somewhere. Post the clip……pleeeeease!

    1. This isn’t the quote/clip you’re looking for, but it can be applied to the media now just as well as when Steve Jobs replied to an angry developer about killing OpenDoc.

  5. It’s naive to think that Apple could come out ahead if it went down that route. Apple can’t possibly respond to every rumour or story. If it started responding to certain stories, the media would invent even more rumours as a fishing expedition to deduce what Apple might be doing.

    However it wouldn’t do any harm to have an occasional official on-the-record denial from an Apple source. For instance when rumours were being spread about poor iPhone5 sales, the story could have been nipped in the bud by a statement saying that it was totally untrue and that the actual sales figures remained strong.

    There must never be any attempt to lie or misrepresent the truth if they do choose to respond. It’s paramount that any official Apple source must be seen to be a trustworthy source.

    I also think that every 3 months or so, places like MDN should publish a historical list of rumours and their sources so that readers can see which ones turned out to be reliable and which ones were not. I also advocate the same principle with analysts, who’s predictions should only be published alongside their previous predictions, so that we can make a judgement about how well they performed.

    1. MDN can’t do that. If they did they’d have to include themselves as a propagator of falsehoods. Don’t they have a responsibility to verify what they comment on? Yes, they do. Hiding behind, “We’re just reporting the comment”, makes them a party to the falsehood, when they’ve done nothing to verify the veracity of the source.

      MDN, of all Apple centric blogs, should be vetting blogs, and not just fanning the flames for their own benefit (eyeballs).

      1. That’s not at all true. MDN is a news aggregator for Apple stories, it does not write stories, the most it does is to add a take on a story that it features. MDN should report across the spectrum of Apple stories, featuring the good, the bad and the ugly. By also featuring the absurd stories and adding a suitably dismissive take, MDN is serving it’s readership better than if it only repeated ‘good news’ stories.

        MDN wouldn’t need to include itself in a list of story sources because each story published on MDN carries a link to the original story. It’s the original story that need to be held to account.

        Ideally a story should be traced back to it’s earliest published version and that author held to account.

  6. Yes, it’s a form of “Economic Sabotage”. The reason they’re getting
    bolder and bolder is because Apple is always quite not commenting
    for a very long time. It’s already getting out of hand and Apple Inc.
    should wake up and do some as* whipping.

  7. It sure seems like an organised campaign to bring down Apple. Maybe they think the way to hit Apples sales is to attack the stock in the hopes that the cost to their reputation will eventually affect sales of their products. Typical headline yesterday on CNBC. “what Apple needs to do to catch up to Samsung and Google” the article wasnt that terrible but the headline is obvious.

  8. Apple don’t need to say a word. They just need to add a page on their website called “Bullshit Mountain”. Then on a daily basis add the titles of bullshit article’s to this page. Then on the quarterly conference call Tim can say….”Now I would like Jon to give out the numbers for Bullshit Mountain”. Then Jon Stewart would report how many articles of bullshit were issued by the WSJ, NYT, Forbes and others. My bet would be WSJ takes the prize every quarter.

  9. Dunno about this. When Steve issued his letters, like the one that killed flash, they were very focused, precise, and used sparingly.

    Apple responding to any or every little bit of false info would be a big win for Wallstreet and all of Apple’s competitors. (OK, wanna-be competitors)

    It would mean that Apple is focusing on media and spin rather than products. It would mean, even inadvertently, that by denying rumors, their true intent and product lineup would be more clear to the copycats.

  10. There is no one worse than CNBC. They bash at every opportunity. They twist, distort positives into negatives. They do things like having death cross graphic, headlines like “rotten Apple”. Melissa Lee seems to have a personal grudge. They scare Ma and Pa into selling. SEC should look into this.

  11. The disinformation campaign is headquartered in
    Korea – I would bet Samsung has poured 1-2 billion into
    seeding doubt about Apple. Newspapers in Seoul take delight in skewering Apple and they have brought that model to our shores. Tim needs to do some major opposition research
    on these scum bags and unleash the the dogs of HELL on them.

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