So, what to do when you don’t like what a company is doing? Go to the shareholder meeting and move a motion? OR get something going quicker – hoax some bad news, and watch the share price fall $300m in a day. Take that, nasty polluter! (miner, abuser, behemoth – insert your own target)
It is going to be interesting to see how this pans out, with the alleged hoaxer facing big trouble with the corporate regulator over misinformation and market manipulation.
This is an example of the new vigilanteism that seems easy to initiate in the age of social media and a news cycle that runs faster than the scarce resources in most newsrooms can fact-check. One of the articles below states “The hoax is the third time in six months that an ASX listed company has had its share price affected by hoaxes, after similar stunts affected retailer David Jones in July and MacMahon Holdings in October.”
The motives here seem straighforward, but imagine what could be achieved with some co-ordinated effort and a genuine attempt to conceal the source of the hoax.
Some background reading on this:
There are a couple of fictional “attacks” like this perpetrated to achieve the specific objectives of the shadowy people behind Queenberry Foundation in The Queensberry Rule. Check it out!