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Yahoo Finance and Investing.com post a fake news article claiming Bitcoin is down 56%

Yahoo Finance and Investing.com post a fake news article claiming Bitcoin is down 56%

Earlier this week, Yahoo Finance and Investing.com both posted and shared an article that falsely claimed Bitcoin’s price plunged almost 56 percent in a single day. The article has most likely been written by a bot in a bit to drive ad revenue to the website due to the popularity of the topic.

Well-known financial news outlets publish fake Bitcoin article

While the crypto industry never lacks outrageous predictions and untrustworthy sources, the article that surfaced earlier this week put all previous clickbait titles to shame. On Feb. 4, Yahoo Finance and Investing.com, both well-known and trusted financial media outlets, published an article that claimed Bitcoin lost more than half of its value in a single day.

The article, titled “Bitcoin Plunges 56% in Rout,” quickly began making rounds in the crypto space on Twitter and Reddit, much to the disbelief of the community. The outrage with which the articles were met didn’t last long, though—both were quickly removed from the platforms.

Screengrab of the deleted article on Investing.com
Screengrab of the deleted article on Investing.com. (Source: Googleusercontent)

Around 300-words long, both articles claimed that the downward move that Bitcoin saw pushed its market cap down to $165.9 billion, but failed to add any sources or more detailed information.

The articles were most likely written and published by a bot, with one of them even being timestamped to Dec. 31, 1969.

Screengrab showing the title and date of the Investing.com article
Screengrab showing the title and date of the Investing.com article. (Source: Twitter)

Outrage over bot-generated articles reveal deeper problems with crypto media

While the two articles managed to be shut down rather quickly after being published, the damage has already been done. Many argued that the incident caused the loss of any credibility Yahoo Finance and Investing.com had.

Mike Dudas, the CEO of The Block, shared his disbelief on Twitter over the incident.

“Two large, well-known financial media brands unrepentantly sharing 100% misinformation with the masses.”

Mati Greenspan, the founder of Quantum Economics and a former senior market analyst at eToro, criticized the publishing process on Investing.com, saying “anyone with an opinion” can write on the platform.

The problem with misleading and fake news has been rampant in the crypto industry since its very beginning. However, these types of articles, written by bots, can wreak more havoc than anything man-made. As many cryptocurrency trading bots open and close trades based on aggregated news titles, articles like the ones published by Yahoo Finance could easily affect hundreds of day trades.

As of now, there’s no evidence that said article affected any trades, but the incident shed a light on the practice, showing that there’s still a long way to go before automated news bots can become a trusted source of news.

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Priyeshu Garg
Author

Priyeshu Garg

Analyst @ CryptoSlate

Priyeshu is a software engineer who is passionate about machine learning and blockchain technology. He holds an engineering degree in computer science engineering and is a passionate economist. He built his first digital marketing startup when he was a teenager, and worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies along with smaller firms. When he is not solving transportation problems at his company (Ola), he can be found writing about the blockchain or roller skating with his friends.

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