Apple denies Jobs heart attack rumour

A rumour on CNN's citizen journalism website claiming Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs had a heart attack briefly caused the company's stock to drop to an 18-month low on Friday.

A rumour on CNN's citizen journalism website claiming Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs had a heart attack briefly caused the company's stock to drop to an 18-month low on Friday.

Apple denied the report, and shares in the company have bounced back from a low of $94.65 US to finish the day at $97.27 US. The story first appeared as a brief on iReport, a citizen journalism website affiliated with Time Warner Inc.'s CNN that launched in February 2008 with the tagline "Unedited. Unfiltered. News."

The person who posted the brief cited an "insider" who said Jobs was having "severe chest pains and shortness of breath." CNN has since taken down what it called the "fraudulent content" and disabled the user's account.

Technology blog Silicon Valley Insider first reported Apple's denial of the story.

It is expected that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will review the incident.

Technology and media blogs were quick to call the incident major black eye for citizen journalism.

"As this incident shows even ...  an unvetted report carries more weight than if it had appeared on Twitter or a random blog because it is on a CNN site," wrote Eric Schonfeld on the influential technology blog Techcrunch.

The report attracted attention in part because the health of Jobs — who many identify as a key part of the Apple brand — has been the subject of speculation this year.