Skip to content
Matt Levine

Twitter Attracts Spoofers

Twitter Stockholders Can't Take a Joke, but honestly the joke is getting old by now.

Yesterday I was a bit blasé about the October 2014 Treasury flash crash/rally, in which algorithms spent 12 minutes or so taking money from each other and, occasionally, themselves. One reasonable concern, though, is that when robots trade nonsensically with each other they undermine human confidence in markets. How confident does this make you feel?

That's the stock price chart of Twitter, which spiked for about 10 minutes this morning after a fake news report hit the Web page, which I do not especially recommend that you visit.  The report -- remember, fake! -- said that Twitter had received a $31 billion buyout offer and was "working closely with bankers." It more or less looked like Bloomberg -- it's easy to cut and paste HTML -- but it is, again, fake: is not a Bloomberg site, and was "registered on July 10 to a post-office box in Panama belonging to WhoisGuard Inc." There were several tip-offs, including a misspelling of Dick Costolo's name, an "it's" that should be an "its," and a headline, "Twitter Attracts Suitors," that is way too short to be an actual Bloomberg headline. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating.