Fake Twitter accounts impersonating top investors could cause stock market hoaxes, according to a report by Reuters.

Fake Twitter accounts impersonating top investors could cause stock market hoaxes, according to a report by Reuters.

 
False accounts have already led to numerous cases of people thinking a celebrity has said something that they did not, and Twitter has a “verified account” status designed to address this issue. Some accounts even make it obvious they are fakes and are used for comedic value, like @notzuckerberg, a parody of Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.
 
The problem is worse when it comes to stocks, however, as false information claiming to be from a reputable source could led to panic on the exchange, with some buying or selling erroneously.
 
The reality of the problem was highlighted when a fake Twitter account called @Greenlightcap tweeted in the name of hedge fund manager David Einhorn, founder of Green Light Capital, suggesting he saw Carl Icahn as the investor of choice in a battle with Bill Ackman at Herbalife.
 
Will the real David Einhorn please stand up?
 
Einhorn, who tweets from @davidein, said that he did not make the tweet and also has no plans to tweet about stocks. That will not stop impersonators profiting from his name and spreading rumours on the stock market.
 
Reuters also highlighted just how damaging such false information could be. A fake tweet about audio chip maker Audience, impersonating short-seller Carson Block of Muddy Waters, suggested shares should be sold, leading to sharp declines in share prices throughout the day.
 
In the end it is up to investors to verify their sources to ensure they are not being fed incorrect information, but that will be little consolation to businesses that stand at the mercy of fake stock tweets.
 
Source: Reuters