Twitter’s stock briefly shot up on the US markets after an apparently fake story about a potential multibillion-dollar buy-out was posted online.
The story said that the social media site was the subject of a 31 billion dollar (£19.8bn) buy-out offer. It quoted “people with knowledge of the situation” and appeared on a website that was made to look like the business pages of Bloomberg’s site.
However the news site’s spokesman Ty Trippet said the article was “fake and appeared on a bogus website that was not affiliated with Bloomberg”.
But the story was enough to send Twitter stock up by 8.5% in the late morning in the US, before settling back down again after Bloomberg’s statement. Stock was still up more than 3% in the early afternoon however.
Twitter, which went public back in 2013, is at something of a crossroads currently, with chief executive Dick Costolo having left the micro blogging site, and co-founder Jack Dorsey back in interim charge while a permanent replacement is sought.
The site is also struggling to keep up with social networking rival Facebook, which has around 1.4 billion users compared to the around 300 million Twitter has active.