Faking a leak: How some dude on a toilet crapped out last week’s hottest Apple rumor

EarPods_derecho

A story was widely circulated throughout the blogosphere last week about a rumor that Apple’s next EarPods would feature biometric sensors for reading health vitals. The “leak” was originally posted on Secret, an anonymous sharing platform, by someone claiming to be an ex-Apple employee.

The info had no way of being verified, but that didn’t stop it from appearing in everywhere from major U.S. tech blogs to news outlets in the U.K. Now the creator of the rumor has come out and admitted that he made it all up while on the toilet.

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The post that started the firestorm of media coverage

“I made it up,” said the unnamed creator on Tumblr. “I wrote it 5 minutes after I woke up on the 1st of may. I was blurry eyed, I had a headache, I was using the toilet and worrying about my blood pressure.”

The original Secret post said that the next EarPods would feature heart rate and blood pressure sensors, iBeacon integration, a Lightning connector, and serve as a “gateway” to the iWatch.

In an interview with Cult of Mac the rumor creator said he was amazed the rumor actually took off, but once it got posted to Reddit things got weird.

“That’s where it really went crazy. The discussion on Reddit are worthy of an episode of the X-files. The Kremlinology going on was amazing. I was supposedly working for Apple at one point and then for Nike and they suggested I was one of the people fired from their team. So it’s not really the speed of which it took off, more how it grew into all these other things at the same time that surprised me most.”

Fake Apple rumors get posted online all the time, but this one sounded just valid enough it to spark interest. If there is enough vagueness to an Apple rumor and it doesn’t sound too outlandish, it’s bound to create discussion.

We chose to not post about it, but many other sites ran with the story and added their own analysis. Apple patents were dug up that point to sensor-equipped headphones, and previous reports of the Healthbook app in iOS 8 helped support the idea. An Apple hire related to expertise in earphone sensors was even reported to help back the rumor up.

The guy behind the Secret post created the fake product mainly as a joke, but also because he wished there would be an iPhone accessory like it to help him with health-related readouts. “I didn’t aim for it to be so popular, I spent next to zero effort on writing it or spreading it.” At the end of the day, he “just made it all up on the shitter.”

As for the response from coming clean, the fake rumor creator says it’s actually been really good.

“I was expecting the kind of constructive criticism you would normally expect from a 14 year old on Modern Warfare 2. But it’s actually been really good. I think I’ll lay off the rumour mongering for a while but June will be exciting. I’d love some iBeacons on my headphones. I’m always loosing them.”

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About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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