Engadget published a report today claiming that Apple was delaying Leopard until Jan 2008 and the iPhone until October.
We hesitatingly republished this report with some caveats.
As it turns out, the report was wrong, but I don’t necessarily blame Engadget. The circumstances surrounding this rumor were unusual, to say the least. Someone actually managed to spoof an email to Apple staffers through an official Apple email distribution list. As a result, it must have seemed quite legitimate.
Regardless, I think it brings up some interesting issues in blogging circles and in the Apple rumor scene in general.
If anything, as a rumor site, MacRumors is surprisingly conservative in republishing rumors. Apple rumors are a high-interest niche and rumors can generate a lot of traffic. This wasn’t actually always the case. Only a few years ago, before blogs became significant news sources, rumors were actively avoided in the mainstream Mac press. Now, it seems rumors are everywhere… and many wanna-be blogs will post wild unsubstantiated claims just to try to gain a viewership.
Because of this potential abuse, we’ve always avoiding spreading rumors from questionable sources. In part, this was the reasoning behind splitting some stories into a separate Page 2.
This may seem a bit paternalistic, but no matter how many caveats we place on a rumor, there is always a group of people who believe it.
But what happens when the rumor-source is as big or bigger than MacRumors?
With mac/gadget/industry blogs jumping quickly on the craziest of Apple rumors, is there any value in not publishing these stories?
Probably not. Much of the value of MacRumors is the rumor community who loves to comment on the latest news and rumors… so we’ve been a bit more liberal about posting these stories.