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Bug #27916 closed:corrected

Reuters headline wildly overstates Steve Ballmer's stock sale

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This bug appeared in a news report published by Reuters.com on Nov 5, 2010. View the original news report.
Bug Type:  Headline Problem

The headline on this Reuters story reads "Microsoft's Ballmer sells 12 percent stake in company."

In fact, as the story itself explains,  Ballmer sold 12 percent *of his stake* in Microsoft. That is, he sold 12 percent of the stock he owns, which, Reuters' story goes on to say, is now, after the stock sale, about 4.2 percent of the company. By comparison, Bill Gates owns about 7.2 percent of Microsoft. No individual could sell 12 percent of the company because no one owns that much of it. 

The first comment under the story reports the error. 



Scott Rosenberg has contacted Reuters.com and received the following response.


Bug History

Nov 05, 2010 11:10 pm Open Scott Rosenberg
Nov 06, 2010 8:18 pm Open: Under Discussion Scott Rosenberg
Nov 08, 2010 10:37 pm Closed: Corrected Scott Rosenberg
Nov 08, 2010 10:37 pm Open: Responded To Scott Rosenberg
Nov 08, 2010 10:37 pm Closed: Corrected Scott Rosenberg

Discussion Leave a comment

I emailed Reuters soon after filing this bug using their contact form, which has a "report correction" option.

The headline is now fixed to read "Microsoft's Ballmer sells 12 percent of his stake in company."

There's no indication that the error was corrected. You can still see the original erroneous headline archived at Techmeme.

Nov 06, 2010 8:18 pm