Scandal: A rash of fake Steve Jobs e-mails, maybe


Get ready for the latest Internet scandal: fake e-mails from Steve Jobs. Well, real e-mails that weren’t sent by Steve Jobs, if that makes any sense.

Wired looked at three e-mails purportedly sent by Steve Jobs in recent weeks: one posted by a MacRumors user, which addresses iPhone 3G connectivity issues; one sent to Gizmodo addressing possible iPhone tethering options; and one addressing the iPod touch.

In Wired’s estimation, these e-mails were not sent by Steve Jobs. We’ve all been had.

Working with the head of the UC Davis linguistics department, along with copy staff, Wired compared these e-mails to those known to have been sent by Jobs himself, including that “MobileMe stinks, we’re sorry” e-mail sent not too long ago. Noting irregularities in the examined e-mails’ grammar and syntax, Wired now believes that the three aforementioned are fake as can be. Incorrect usage of “which” versus “that,” unusual parting words (Jobs doesn’t say “best” or “sincerely” when he concludes e-mails), and the like all point to those e-mails being false. That, in turn, casts doubt on the veracity of the e-mails’ claims, obviously.

What should we call this scandal, JobsGate, EmailGate, LeaveSteveAloneGate?